The Russian farm ministry has upped the ante for the country's pork and poultry sectors to not only be self-sufficient, but to become meat and poultry exporters by 2020. This week, Russia's farm ministry rolled out ambitious draft plan that would cost 6.8 trillion rubles ($230 billion U.S.), that also would include raising grain output and exports, as well as cut the country’s dependence on imported raw sugar.
According to a Reuters’ report, the draft of a “state programme for agricultural development” for 2013 to 2020, published on the agriculture ministry's website (www.mcx.ru), outlines that federal and regional budgets are expected to provide two-thirds of the needed financing.
However, goals and reality may not match. Andrei Sizov Sr., a leading Russian analyst, said that the ministry is setting targets and that the plans will likely change.
“First of all, it is a big question if the desired financing can be found,” Sizov, president and chief executive officer of SovEcon agricultural analysts, told Reuters. He added that even if Russia could reach the outlined targets it “is unlikely to find a market for all these commodities, as the competition is high.”
The export markets cited in the report include the Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and Europe.
Worth noting is the fact that the proposal had not been endorsed by the Russian government.
Regarding goals for meat, mainly pork and poultry, the proposed draft has Russia doubling its output to 14.1 million tonnes by 2020. Russia is currently a major, although unreliable, meat importer.
“By 2020, exports of poultry meat may be 400,000 tonnes and of pork 200,000 tonnes,” the proposal said.
Today, Russia’s domestic production supplies only 73 percent of the country’s meat consumption. The government has thrown down the gauntlet that the country will be self-sufficient in poultry and pork production within the next three years.
In this new objective, the predicted poultry output would increase from 2.8 million tons in 2010 to 5.8 million tons by 2020. Pork output would increase from 2.3 million tons to 4.53 million. Beef would move from 1.7 million tons to 3.15 million.
Crops are not left out of the mix. Already a major wheat exporter, under the new proposal, Russia will work to increase from this year’s expected 85 million to 90 million tons, up to 125 million tons by 2020.
To accommodate this, Russia’s ministry plans to increase wheat plantings to 50 million hectares from the current 44 million; it also expects to increase average yields from 2 tons per hectare to 2.5 tons.
Expanding this export commitment will mean building grain storage capacity and multiple deep-sea export terminals, Reuters reports.
Russia is currently the third-largest sugar importer, and wants to cut dependence on imported product. The plan is to produce 5.4 million tons of beet sugar in 2020, which would fulfill 91.2 percent of its needs. Russia produces over half of the sugar it consumes from domestic beets, Reuters reports.