President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,
I congratulate you on your professional holiday, Agriculture and Processing Industry Workers’ Day.
First, I would like to express my immense gratitude for your hard work, love for your homeland, and commitment to achieving substantial results that are of great importance to the entire nation.
Due to your efforts, the efforts of those who work in the fields, at farms, food production facilities and specialised research institutes, our agriculture and food industry have made major progress and become essential drivers of the national economy.
Last year, we had a record grain harvest of nearly 158 million tonnes. This year, Russia will again see a good harvest of grains and oilseeds, vegetables and fruit, and increase the production of meat, milk, and fish. Today, our farmers provide all the main types of food products for the domestic market.
The industry export potential is growing as well. Agricultural products have become an essential part of Russia’s exports, with our companies already among global leaders as regards certain food products, such as wheat and fish.
I want to emphasise once again: the strong growth and steady progress of Russia’s agro-industrial complex have been made possible by the initiative, responsible attitude and dedication of the people employed in the industry – workers and executives at enterprises, and farmers.
We will support them in their commitment to achieving new heights for our agro-industrial enterprises to further boost their capacities, follow a prudent and sustainable approach through utilising advanced farming methods and preserving natural resources for future generations, launch new production facilities that boast state-of-art and increasingly eco-friendly technologies, create new jobs, and provide top quality and, most importantly, healthy food products for both the domestic and foreign markets.
To this end, we have everything we need: land, water resources, our own scientific resources and technologies, but most importantly, we have competent and skilled professionals as well as talented young personnel.
We will improve government support tools for the agricultural sector, such as preferential loans and tariffs for the transportation of products, as well as subsidies, leasing, and land reclamation programmes. We will take efforts to provide enterprises and farmers with equipment, fertilisers, fuel and lubricants.
Particular attention should be paid to related economic sectors that are connected to the agro-industrial complex: agricultural engineering, equipment production for the food industry, and others. These areas also require our efforts to achieve technological sovereignty.
We should fully utilise the capabilities offered by applied science so that relevant developments created by our research institutes in breeding, seed production and biotechnology could be promptly introduced in production.
As regards product deliveries, we are working to develop agricultural logistics and transport infrastructure, and expand the capacities of railways, commercial ports, grain elevators and product storage terminals. Corresponding plans have already been drawn up, with active efforts underway to implement them.
I should add that Russia boasts diverse national cuisines and culinary traditions; every region can offer special and authentic food made by local producers with love. This is a powerful factor for the development of agritourism, with tours to farms, private cheese factories or wineries for visitors to learn about our farmers’ lifestyle and work.
Naturally, improving the quality of life in rural areas is an essential issue. We will further strengthen the rural social sector, including healthcare, education and culture; we will also upgrade and build new roads and utility networks, provide gas supply to villages, and build new housing. All in all, we will make every effort to ensure modern, comfortable living conditions in rural areas and create an environment for our citizens’ self-actualisation.
The national agro-industrial complex has always been known for its true professionals whose work is deservedly honoured and respected. Today, the industry is facing big, ambitious tasks, and I am confident that we will achieve them.
Once again, congratulations on your holiday. I wish you all the best.