In spite of the economic crisis, Russia's animal production sector is showing signs of positive development made clear at a workshop organised by DLG in the run-up to AgroFarm 2010, a trade exhibition scheduled to be held in Moscow in May 2010.
Together with a range of international experts from the fields of agriculture, industry and politics, DLG (German Agricultural Society) informed companies and organisations from the animal husbandry sector about the situation on the Russian market.
They talked about the significance of international cooperation as well as the political and legal framework conditions surrounding the development of Russian livestock production.
“Producer prices have improved in Russia since November”, explained Dr. Olga Hunger, who is in charge of CIS Cooperation at DLG.
The price for raw milk is currently at 10 to 15 percent above the standard, seasonal price increase. Furthermore, next year’s lowering of meat import quotas will also generate more favourable framework conditions for livestock producers.
As Dr. Hunger pointed out, “rising consumer demand, the impact of various state promotion and regulatory mechanisms as well as the ongoing need for agricultural modernisation all indicate an ongoing demand for the latest livestock production technology”.
Animal producers are therefore set to expand and further intensify their production capacity.
Demand for technology
Evgeny Tikhov, Deputy Director of the large Russian pork producing company Agrofirma Mortadel, underscored the outstanding role international technology has to play in the further development of animal production in Russia.
“Modern technology, along with high-performance genetics and efficient feed are essential for Russian pig producers if they want to operate profitably and competitively”, says Tikhov.
The state is backing investments in this sector with subsidies. And pig stocks at Agrofirma Mortadel are scheduled to increase from the present 46,000 animals to up to 260,000 animals in the years ahead.
To enable this growth to take place, some 20 new piggeries are to be constructed in the near future. “We are relying here on production technology and genetics from Canada as well as on quality products from other international providers”, stated Tikhov.
What is more, Agrofirm Mortadel plans to build its own slaughterhouse and biogas plant.
Difficult access to market
“In 2009 foreign producers found it more difficult to access the Russian market. This was due in part to the global economic crisis.
However, on the positive side, political willingness to promote investments in the agricultural and food industry is still there and cheap prices for land make it easier for investors to back agricultural products.
The Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations is promoting trade and investment in the agriculture and food industry’, explained Gerlinde Sauer, Manager of the Agricultural Working Group with the Committee.
“The main thing is to keep up the dialogue and, using sound arguments, to emphasise the advantages of modern technology for Russian livestock production.”