Harvest impeded by drought in Tatarstan, so prices might go up

The drought in the Volga region is the culprit. Summer results for country workers aren’t comforting

Harvest impeded by drought in Tatarstan, so prices might go up
Photo: tatarstan.ru

The drought in the Volga region seriously affected the work of Tatarstan agriculturists. Due to hot weather and the absence of precipitation, the amount of harvest will seriously fall behind last year’s record numbers. The Ministry of Agriculture of the republic believes that the bad harvest will cause a rise in prices too.

Results could have been much modest

In 2021, Tatarstan agriculturists gathered 2 million 341,000 tonnes of grains with a yield of 1,54 tonnes per hectare, said Vice Premier of the republic and Minister of Agriculture and Food Marat Zyabbarov said.

“Nowadays the republic has almost finished harvesting grains, which experienced anomalously tough weather conditions. About 30,000 hectares left.”

In gross harvest, Alexeyevsk, Chistopol and Arsk Districts of the republic with more than 100,000 tonnes of grain each are the leaders. Tukay, Tetyushi and Chistopol Districts have shown the biggest yield, more than 2 tonnes per hectare.

“Better culture of agriculture, more professional work on harvest played a positive role in gathering harvest in such weather conditions... 72,7 kilograms of mineral fertilisers, which is 9% more than last year, were used per hectare. The results could have been much more modest without the use of these fertilisers,” the minister noted.

Now agriculturists are preparing for next year’s harvest. According to the minister, more than half of the planned areas have already been sown. Photo: tatarstan.ru

Field works will not end with the end of harvesting. Agriculturists will have to gather grain maize and maize fodder. Rapeseed, sunflower, sugar beet and potato are gathered.

“2,400 tonnes of potato has been reaped. The yield isn’t very high, about 170 hundredweight per hectare,” Zyabbarov said.

Now agriculturists are preparing for next year’s harvest. By estimates, an area of 540,000 hectares will be sowed with winter crops. According to the minister, more than half of the planned areas have already been sown.

“Agricultural insurance is already a necessity”

Marat Zyabbarov paid attention to the fact that the drought this summer reminded them of the importance of sowing insurance. In 2021, 278,000 hectares of harvest were insured in Tatarstan, which is 10% of the total amount.

“Agricultural insurance is already a necessity. More people start to understand this and insure their crops... Farms need a specialist who must control how agreements are met. Then there is a guarantee the damage will be offset,” the minister noted.

The minister of agriculture also talked about the importance of public support for small farms:

“Small farms in the republic are represented by 468,000 private farms, more than 4,000 farms, over 300 agricultural consumer cooperatives. They account for half of gross agricultural produce. Farms with 8-10% annual growth of gross production develop more intensively, this mainly is linked with their big public support.

Small farms in the republic are represented by 468,000 private farms, more than 4,000 farms, over 300 agricultural cooperatives. Photo: Ilya Repin

In Agrostartup project, aspiring farmers could hope for up to 3 million rubles of grant to breed cattle and up to 1,5 million for other areas. 152 applications were received, 60 winners who will receive a total of 161 million rubles were chosen. Agroprogress and Development of Agricultural Consumer Cooperative contests were summed up. The competition in Development of Family Farms goes on.

Private farms, according to Marat Zyabbarov, will be supported by subsidies. The republican budget envisages 427 million rubles to help private farms in 2021, including:

  • to build small milk farms — 50 million rubles;
  • to purchase commercial and breeding heifers and first-year calves — 8 million rubles;
  • to keep mares older than three years — 8 million rubles;
  • to keep milk cows, goats and goat kids older than one year — 350 million rubles;
  • to compensate for some costs on fuel and lubricants for private farms that participated in agricultural fairs — 11 million rubles.

Prices will rise but not too much

The Ministry of Agriculture promises to calculate the accurate damage done to agriculturists by this year’s hot summer and name it after all works end. Residents of the republic fear the drought will influence product prices. Marat Zyabbarov is sure that prices will really rise, however, there won’t be a catastrophe:

“We think there will anyway be certain rise in grains, potato and vegetables. We are planning to regulate prices for potato, vegetables at fairs. Today our produce is already sold at small fairs and will be sold at future fairs.”

Marat Zyabbarov stressed that agricultural fairs’ transport expenses will be compensated. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

Agricultural fairs will start on 11 September. At the same time, gardeners’ fairs will open this week, they will sell their products next weekend. Marat Zyabbarov stressed that agricultural fairs’ transport expenses will be compensated.

Emil Ziyangirov
Sports Tatarstan