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Russian Exporters Have High Ambitions

by 5m Editor
14 July 2010, at 11:42p.m.

RUSSIA - Russia wants to export 60 times more poultry meat and pork by 2020.

Russia may export 60 times more pork and poultry by 2020, even as it seeks to build its food security by reducing dependence on imported meat, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said yesterday (13 July).

Moscow Times reports that new technologies have made Russian meat more competitive on the international market, Ms Skrynnik said a meeting of the State Council's presidium in the Belgorod region village of Malobykovo.

She said: "We're keeping pace with the times and the technological process. By our estimates, export volumes could be up to 400,000 tons of poultry and 200,000 tons of pork. That's $1.5 billion to $2 billion a year."

This compares with a combined 10,000 tons of exports last year.

Russia – currently among the world's largest meat importers – may become a leader in meat production if it creates the necessary infrastructure, said President Dmitry Medvedev, who chaired the meeting.

President Medvedev explained: "We need to start with something. In that case, Russia will see big prospects to become an influential player at the international food market," stressing that having meat available for domestic consumption would remain the priority.

He signed a new food security doctrine in February, which called for 85 per cent of all meat consumed in the country to be produced domestically by 2020.

According to figures from the Russian Poultry Union, poultry meat production rose 16 per cent in the first half of the year to 1.33 million tons. The group estimated that Russia imported 120,000 tons over the same period.

Minister Skrynnik said in April that meat production would increase five per cent this year, reports Moscow Times.

But the recent heat-wave could spoil Russia's plans this year, with a total of 9.3 million hectares of crops already destroyed.

During a government meeting on 12 July, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned farmers against slaughtering livestock, saying that there would be enough grain to feed them.