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9 Dec, 2008 06:01

Bumper harvest brings storage headache

Farms are brimming with grain after a record crop. But food experts are warning there may not be enough bread for everyone. The problem is Russia doesn’t have enough barns to store the grain.

The country's Grain Union says Russia has storage capacity for less than a hundred million tonnes.

So, the country needs to build more barns.  But that’s just the start of it.  It also needs to increase rail capacity to move the crops and power capacity to cope with more processing.

As things stand, producers are forced to sell their crop for what they say is a very cheap price.

Viktor Grachev, director of a Moscow’s grain depot, says: “I don't know the price on the international markets, but I don't think it's the same as what we're selling grain for here in Russia. Actually, it's a situation where everybody’s talking about a global financial crisis but the farms are brimming with grain.  It seems nonsensical.”

With this year’s harvest already collected, Russian farmers are preparing for the next one.

Andrey Danilenko, “Russian Farms” Foundation President, says: “A lot of people are looking at agriculture as maybe one of the safest sectors to invest financing, because it is a product that most likely is going to be the last in the list that people will stop consuming.”