Krasnodar, 23 April. Our today’s guest is Fedor Dereka, Minister of Agriculture and Processing Industry of Krasnodar krai.
Q.: How did the constraint measures affect the work of the regional agricultural complex?
A.: I would note that the small and medium-size agricultural businesses did have difficulties related with the sale of their products. The introduction of certain restrictive measures coincided with the beginning of the harvest season of rareripes. The production volumes are increasing every day. Before the pandemic, up to 70% of the products were bought by suppliers from other regions, but now the demand throughout the country has dropped due to the coronavirus. Besides, the farmers used to selling their goods at fairs, markets and to wholesalers now also need to look for the new channels of distribution.
Q.: Did the introduction of regional permits make the farmers’ work more complicated?
A.: Initially there were certain difficulties with issuing red permits allowing to move in the entire [Kuban] region during the quarantine. But within a couple of days we managed to deal with all difficulties, so that all farmers who needed such documents to proceed working did get or continue getting them.
Q.: The situation with coronavirus is challenging some food imports. Is Kuban prepared to be a national ‘granary’ for the crisis period?
A.: There are no and will not be any difficulties with providing inhabitants of our region with food products. All processing enterprises in the region have a two-month stock of primary products. Now they are loaded to 60–80% and continue to function as normal. If necessary, we will be prepared to deliver finished products to other regions. For instance, we have sufficient supplies of rice, sugar and tinned products. This must last until the new harvest season.
Q.: How is the sowing campaign going on in the region?
A.: It is nearing completion: over 1.36 hectares of arable land have been sown with spring cultures, which is 78% of the plan which is nearly 1.9 million hectares.
Q.: Speaking about the governmental support, what subsidies can Kuban framers reckon on this year?
A.: First of all, I would like to remind that by federal provisions, starting from this year the governmental support will be rendered as compensating and stimulating subsidies. Compensating subsidies are aimed at supporting the agricultural production in certain spheres of plant growing and cattle breeding: milk production, pedigree and beef farming, mother seed production, agricultural insurance, and carrying out a set of agricultural technological works in plant cultivation. As for stimulating subsidies, they will allow to develop individual points of increase in the regional agricultural complex: vegetable growing in the open, viticulture, horticulture, and to support small farms. Besides, a new governmental program of complex development of rural territories has been launched.
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