The President congratulated the participants in the meeting on the regional holiday observed in Krasnodar Territory today – Rice Harvest Day.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, friends.
I know that today you have a regional holiday in Krasnodar Territory – Rice Harvest Day. There is reason to rejoice and celebrate it.
I looked at some reference materials before our meeting. Russia has increased its rice harvest 2.5 times in the past 20 years, and mostly owing to Krasnodar Territory. Another record will be set this year, as I understand: the net weight will be no less than a million and this is a landmark.
On the whole, the agrarian sector is doing very well. This year we will produce 116 million tonnes of grain. This is a very good result. We are already leading the world in wheat exports.
Such countries as China and the United States are producing more wheat than we do but they consume more. Our export potential has become the world’s largest and we are the biggest exporter, which is indicative. We have talked about this many times before. Talking about this is the right thing: just a short while ago it seemed that Russia was unable to attain such a result.
When we started focusing on agriculture and increasing the export potential, it transpired that our port facilities were not even fit for shipping grain. They could only receive grain but could not ship it out – they had no loading equipment. So all Soviet ports were only receiving grain.
Now this has changed dramatically. Agriculture has become a profitable and a very efficient sector of the Russian economy, which is great and I want to congratulate you and all agricultural workers with such performance once again. This is a truly impressive and very indicative result. Russia is able to resolve complicated problems that seem unsolvable at first sight.
Considering our potential, which is simply enormous — our current and future croplands are certainly an enormous potential – and, no doubt, we have not reached the limit yet and can still do much to show the talent of the Russian people and all peoples of Russia in general, their diligence and ability to attain very good, impressive results.
Let me congratulate you once again, wish you all the best and thank you for this achievement.