Vladimir Kashin: ‘Tatarstan shows an example — it uses more than 80% of arable land’
A meeting of the Russian State Council on agriculture took place in Kazan during Russian Field Day dedicated to Russia’s agro-industrial sector. Attendees of the meeting discussed the replacement of agricultural machinery imports, harvest and the state of the Agro-Industrial Complex. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.
“There has been no fire despite the frequent drought”
More than 5.2 tonnes of grain harvest was received in Tatarstan last summer — it is a “decent result,” noted the republic’s Prime Minister Alexey Pesoshin during the meeting of the State Council. More than 920,000 tonnes of potato was collected, he added.
“This allows not only meeting the needs of the republic’s citizens but also import a considerable amount of the product. Special attention is paid to the equipment,” Alexey Pesoshin stressed.
According to him, the main task now is to introduce Russian technologies in the agricultural industry and create technological sovereignty.
So only 11% of tractors and 30% of agricultural machinery are of foreign origin in Tatarstan. Moreover, around 2,000 of spare parts are made by Russian producers, including in Tatarstan.
Pesoshin also said that 1.8 billion rubles are annually allocated from the republic’s budget to annually modernise agro-industrial technologies. Over 3,000 tractors and harvest collectors were updated.
The area of agricultural crops in Tatarstan has decreased 1.2 times in 30 years. It is the lowest number in the Volga Federal District, said Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee for Agricultural Affairs Vladimir Kashin.
“The sowing area has reduced in some Volga regions manifolds — 2.6-2.7 times. Tatarstan here shows an example because more than 80% of arable land is used compared to the 90s. It is also an example because there has been no fire in the last 20 years despite the frequent drought,” he stressed.
“Technological sovereignty is not only equipment”
Local enterprises produce 85% of grain collectors and 73% of forage collectors in Russia in general. Moreover, 54% of tractors are supplied from Belarus and 10% from other countries, said Director of the Department of Plant Production, Mechanisation, Chemical Treatment and Protection of Plants of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture Roman Nekrasov.
“Technological sovereignty is not only equipment. Scientific data suggests that today equipment and technologies determined 30% of harvest, chemical fertilisers do 25%, natural and climatic conditions contribute another 25%, seeds do 20%. Manageable factors total 75%,” he emphasised.
According to Nekrasov, the Russian Ministry of Agriculture fully provides funding of measures of the agro-industrial industry. This is enough to keep up the pace of technological modernisation.
Vladimir Kashin voiced one of the biggest problems of the sector. He says that an acute deficit of staff in the Agro-Industrial Complex is felt in Russia.
So 343 design bureaus and research institutions with 117,000 employees have closed in Russia in the last 10 years. The number of employees has been cut 1.5 times.
According to the statistics provided by the speaker, there were 44,300 colleges in Russia in 1990. In the last 30 years, their number annually decreased reaching 500 by 2021. As for workers of the complex, their number across the country reached 1.3 million people. The amount of agricultural workers has fallen to 140,000 during the same period.