3 more animal shelters to be built in Tatarstan — State Council calls it a drop in the ocean

The parliament believes that shelters should be everywhere, like fire stations

The first standard shelter for homeless animals will be built in Naberezhnye Chelny on an area of 1,7 hectares by the end of this year. Tatarstan State Council Deputy Takhir Khadeev, considering that three shelters are clearly not enough, suggested finding additional funds in the republican budget or agreeing with Moscow to reduce tax deductions. At the meeting of the Committee of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan on Ecology, Nature Management, Agro-industrial and Food Policy, they also found out whether foot-and-mouth disease, spreading like the Omicron virus, threatens Tatarstan, what subsidies will be received by farms that have increased the acreage for potatoes and vegetables, and how to reduce the cost of the “borscht set”.

“Tatarstan receives the maximum amount of federal support”

First Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Tatarstan Nail Zalakov reported on the results of the implementation of the republican state programme for the development of agriculture in 2021. The first good news is that this year funding from the federal centre will not be reduced and will amount to the same 17,5 billion rubles. “Tatarstan receives the maximum amount of federal support” Already in the first quarter, farmers will be allocated almost 3 billion rubles, which will be a good help before spring field work.

According to the ministry, the year 2021 turned out to be a difficult year for the village workers.

“The abnormal weather conditions of the previous year had a negative impact on the indicators in the agriculture of the republic. By the results of the year, the volume of gross output, taking into account all categories of farms, decreased by 19,9% in comparable prices relative to the corresponding period of 2020 and amounted to 237,2 billion rubles," Zalakov summed up.

He noted that this year the agro-industrial complex faces a serious task to increase the volume of competitive agricultural products and increase the financial stability of the industry enterprises. According to the forecast, agricultural production will amount to about 110% in comparable prices to the level of 2021, including in crop production — 126%, animal husbandry — 100%.

The deputy minister said that winter grain crops were sown for the harvest of 2022 on an area of 479 thousand hectares, of which 368 thousand hectares are wheat, 103 thousand hectares are rye, 7 thousand hectares are triticale. Overwintering is generally going favourably, there is no threat of death of winter crops in significant areas.

Indicators for animal husbandry are in a small but plus. In the previous year, milk production increased by 15,8 thousand tonnes, amounting to more than 1,9 million tonnes, productivity per cow increased by 267 kilogrammes, amounting to 6,6 thousand kilogrammes. The indicators of livestock and poultry production for slaughter in live weight increased — more than 539 thousand tonnes of meat, more than 1,5 billion eggs.

“In 2021, 20 new dairy farms and complexes for 14,6 thousand heads were put into operation. This made it possible to produce an additional 40 thousand tonnes of milk a year. In 2022, another 20 new dairy complexes for 17 thousand cows will be introduced," Zalakov informed.

Last year, the technological infrastructure of the agro-industrial complex was seriously modernised. 1,8 billion rubles were allocated for this, 4,8 thousand units of equipment were updated. This year, it is planned to purchase 250 tractors, 110 grain harvesters and 25 forage harvesters.

The focus of the ministry's attention is on small forms of management. More than 2 billion rubles of grants and subsidies are allocated annually to support them. In the previous year, under the programme “Development of family farms in the Republic of Tatarstan”, 20 farms were identified as winners, which were financed by 316 million rubles. Under the Agrostartap programme, 60 winners were identified, the total amount of grants amounted to 161 million rubles.

Agricultural fairs brought down the prices of products

Nail Zalakov separately focused on the measures taken to curb the growth of food prices. For example, 124,7 million rubles were allocated to producers from the republican budget to stabilise prices for “social bread”.

Weekly Saturday fairs became a response to the increase in the cost of the “borscht set” in Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny. In the capital of the republic, the sale of vegetables at affordable prices was organised on six tent sites. In general, agricultural fairs in the republic contributed to the stabilisation of food prices, in particular, the prices of vegetables were lower than the average by 48%, for butter and cheeses — by more than 30%, for flour — about 25%, buckwheat — 20%, granulated sugar — over 10%, eggs and chicken meat — 7%. In total, 1,9 million rubles worth of products were sold at the fairs.

The deputy minister noted that this year it is planned to increase the area for potatoes and vegetable crops by 12%. Their producers will receive subsidies of 25 thousand per hectare, and farms that have increased the acreage by 10 percent or more can claim 40 thousand rubles for each hectare.

Farms have been allocated 10 million for the purchase of seeds and surplus vegetables will be repurchased

Deputy of the State Council Lyalya Kudermetova asked Zalakov if the department had any proposals to change the legislation. He replied that the work of the ministry is structured, and its primary task is to participate in federal programmes, the deputy minister complained only that Tatarstan projects for the integrated development of rural areas need to score at least 700 points to receive funding, while for other regions this bar is lower.

The deputy of the State Council of Tatarstan, Takhir Khadeev, was interested in the volume of contracts concluded with representatives of small business entities for the supply of vegetables from the “borscht set” and how effectively budget grants are used by their recipients in transferring to marketable products. Zalakov informed that 10 million rubles have been allocated to small farms for the purchase of seeds to stimulate the cultivation of vegetables. This year, it is planned to redeem the surplus products through the consumer cooperation system and supply them to the retail network. Funds will also be allocated for the design of new vegetable storages, because the purchased products need to be stored somewhere.

Regarding the effectiveness of state support, the first deputy minister replied that a detailed analysis was not carried out. But since the region is the leader in animal husbandry and there is growth in all other industries, this suggests that public funds are being used correctly.

Former Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Tatarstan, and now Deputy Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan Marat Akhmetov appreciated the work of the department.

“Last year, the agriculture of the republic went through a very serious test. But thanks to that the Ministry of Agriculture conducts systematic consistent work, with knowledge of the matter and consulting with our producers on a daily basis, it has passed this exam. Due to the diversification of business in agriculture, cash revenue turned out to be at the level of the prosperous 2020 year. Today, active work is underway to prepare for spring, although 2021 has not passed without a trace, because 2,5 million tonnes of grain have been harvested instead of 5,5 million tonnes. This is a very high issue price, although the costs were the same. For beetroot, a marginal crop, the gross harvest is also two times less. To some extent, this will affect the mood, the prospect of individual business projects, but there is no panic," Akhmetov said.

He stressed that the wintering of livestock is going well, milk production has been increased, winter crops are in good condition, and farmers are actively preparing for spring field work. The issue of the “borscht set” is being slowly resolved. The Deputy Chairman of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan pinns great hopes on the business project of Azat Ziganshin on growing vegetables in the agricultural firm Narmonka, which will allow them to provide the population of the capital with them at affordable prices.

All animals are registered

At the meeting of the committee, the parliamentarians also discussed the results of the work of the Main Veterinary Department of the republic with the emphasis on the problem of responsible treatment of animals. The relevant federal law was adopted in May 2021, but the implementation of its provisions will only be considered by the republican parliament.

Ildar Nugumanov, the deputy head of the Main Veterinary Department of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Tatarstan, noted that proposals for changing legislation have been sent to the State Council and the State Duma of the Russian Federation. In particular, it is planned to do the following:

  • introduction of mandatory registration of pets (dogs, cats);
  • introduction of liability for the absence of registration of pets;
  • approval at the federal level of the requirements for keeping pets in residential premises (apartments).

Nugumanov informed that three shelters for homeless animals for 250 places are to be built in Naberezhnye Chelny, Nizhnekamsk and Almetyevsk with the possibility of expanding to 400 places. In Almetyevsk, a plot of 2 hectares has been allocated, in Nizhnekamsk — 4,3 hectares, in Naberezhnye Chelny — 1,7 hectares.

“To date, land plots have been identified for the placement of shelters and the development of design and estimate documentation for the construction of the typical intermunicipal shelter for animals has begun. At the end of the year, we expect the construction of the first shelter in Naberezhnye Chelny, and then in the other two cities," he reported.

The official said that the republic is starting work on the identification of animals. To date, 34% of cattle are registered in the unified accounting system. It is also planned to equip all district veterinary points with mobile terminals for registering animals in the system, reading their numbers and entering information on mass anti-epizootic measures. 25,2 million rubles have been allocated for the purchase of software and mobile terminals.

Republic is starting work on the identification of animals. To date, 34% of cattle are registered in the unified accounting system. Photo: realnoevremya.ru

“There is a threat of foot-and-mouth disease”

Nugumanov said that last year in Tatarstan, three foci of African plague were detected among wild boars — in the hunting farms Yamashskoye of the Almetyevsk district, Elkhovles of the Zainsky district, and Krasnovidovo of the Novosheshminsky district. But thanks to a set of antiepizootic measures, the spread of infection was prevented.

Active monitoring is underway among domestic pigs. Since the beginning of the year, 3,819 blood samples and 1,197 samples of pathological material from dead pigs have been examined. The African swine fever virus has not been detected among them.

Last year, there were also 23 cases of rabies and one outbreak of avian flu. The last one happened at the quail farm of the farm Frolov of the Tukayevsky district.

“All poultry and poultry products were alienated in the focus. Also, all the birds in the settlements of the threatened zone of the Tukayevsky district were alienated — this is the village of Kalmash, the village of Novy, the village of Verkhny Baylar. As a result of the measures carried out in the epizootic focus and the threatened zone, more than 53 thousand heads of poultry were destroyed in total. All measures to eliminate the outbreak of infection were carried out in a timely manner," Nugumanov said.

Veterinarians blame the unauthorised delivery of feed or incubation eggs from regions affected by influenza. To avoid such situation, incoming products are tracked in the Mercury system, and samples are also taken. During 2021, infected products coming from various sources were repeatedly detected.

Marat Akhmetov asked about the risk of importing another dangerous disease to Tatarstan — foot-and-mouth disease.

“There is such a threat. At the end of December 2021, this disease was recorded in Kazakhstan and in Orenburg Oblast. Foot-and-mouth disease is a viral disease that spreads very quickly, like Omicron. In Kazakhstan, in the northern part of the country, animals are completely sick, there is a threat of the virus being introduced with feed and with animals, therefore, explanatory work is being carried out in our republic," Nugumanov said.

He said that employees of the veterinary department go around farms, inform producers. Besides, veterinary posts have been set up on the roads, helping to identify unscrupulous suppliers and police officers.

The deputy chairman of the committee, Takhir Khadeev, said that three animal shelters are a drop in the ocean. They should be like fire stations in every district.

“They will not go from Naberezhnye Chelny to, for example, to Yutazy. This issue needs to be solved in principle ... If there are not enough resources for the construction of shelters, it is necessary to adjust the budget, from each article by at least 1% even less. Another trillion rubles (taxes) we are transferring it to the federal centre. We must agree to leave at least 5% to solve this important task. And we also have enterprises, active people, so we need to find a solution," the parliamentarian concluded.

“The situation with neglected animals, especially dogs, worries many regions. Dogs attack adults and children, and there are tragic cases. There is a lot of work to be done both in terms of legislation and putting regulatory legal acts in order," the chairman of the committee, Azat Khamayev, agreed.

Eleonora Rylova