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26 Feb, 2016 10:07

Russia to up grain production 25% by 2030 - Agriculture ministry

Russia to up grain production 25% by 2030 - Agriculture ministry

The Russian agriculture ministry is predicting grain production will increase by 25 percent over the next fifteen years to 130 million tons as a part of the strategic development of the cereals market.

Growth will come from expanding the areas current planted with grain. Cropped fields are expected to increase to 49 million hectares (490,000 sq km) as opposed to the current 46 million. The average yield is projected at 2.74 tons per hectare from the current 2.36.

Domestic grain consumption is expected to increase by 17.5 percent to 81.1 million tons due to a boost in livestock breeding and processing of raw grain into products as starch or syrups.

Russia expects to control over 10 percent of the global grain market boosting exports by 61 percent to 48.3 million tons. The country currently exports to Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Sudan and Yemen.

READ MORE: Russia begins grain deliveries to Iran – Russian food watchdog

The government expects to invest 2.9 trillion rubles ($38.2 billion) in the next 15 years with private investors providing another 3.1 trillion rubles ($40.8 billion).

However, some experts suggest the Russian agriculture sector does not need to look for Kremlin help.

“The government investments are not necessary,” the head of the Russia’s agriculture markets research company 'Sovecon' Andrey Sizov told Vedomosti. Such measures as abolishing export tax on grain and raising the competition in the transport sector, as well as imposing administrative fines for improper use of the railway service would be enough to develop the industry.

The major producers say Russian grain might take on markets if the country could offer lower prices. Morocco, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and China are the most promising markets, according to Russia’s agriculture ministry.