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Sanctions being an impetus to enhance the agricultural development in Russia: five-year results

Vedomosti published an article devoted to the consequences of economic sanctions against Russia for the domestic agro-industrial sector. In response to the restrictions imposed by foreign countries, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree banning the import of agricultural products from these countries into Russia. Eventually, the counter-sanctions became not just a measure of influence on opponents, but also an opportunity for Russian producers to occupy an import-free niche.

After five years of food embargo, the agricultural sector’s performance has improved significantly. According to the Minister of Agriculture Patrushev D. N., the high level of food security has been reached for all the key agricultural products. This means that the country is able to provide the people with everything they need on its own, without importing any products.

There is a dramatical increase in domestic production of meat, dairy, vegetables, and fruits. In that, state subsidies for the agro-industrial sector have played a significant role.

Special attention in the article is paid to the development of greenhouse technology in Russia. An example of a successful project was ECO-Culture agricultural company – the largest producer of greenhouse vegetables in the country. According to Rustem Mustafin, the marketing director of the company, the food embargo has caused a deficit of vegetable products, which has driven up the prices and stimulated the development of existing and the launch of new investment projects. Now Russian greenhouse complexes are able to almost fully meet the needs of the consumers in tomatoes and cucumbers – the most popular vegetable crops on the domestic market.

Experts believe that even if the embargo is to be lifted in the near future, this will not affect greenhouse vegetable producers in any way – in the past few years, their products have become better and cheaper than their imported analogs.

However, it is still too early for a final say on the Russia horticulture: vegetable cultivation, even with the super-intensive technologies applied, is a long-term process. For example, there is still a certain deficit of apples in the market. Therefore, the outcomes of the fruit import substitution program can be evaluated only in 5-10 years.

Read the full article in the Vedomosti issue on August 6.