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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

C prayer of sanctions

Ongoing discussions on the topic “can Russia feed itself in terms of European sanctions” to keep up the momentum for the second year. How effective is the programme of import substitution or is it just a beautiful and often repeated phrase? Without leaving Moscow, it is hard to speculate whether the Russian regions to produce goods of decent quality and in significant quantity. Correspondent “MK” was visited in a press-tour of the Belgorod region, organized by the standing Committee of the Union state in which Russian and Belarusian journalists showed what they are capable of domestic agro-industrial complex.

photo: Lyudmila Alexandrova

Circuit is closed: from grain production to meat sales

The international airport “Belgorod” is small. This is, perhaps, the only difference from the capital’s air Harbor. Around modern buildings — fields are boundless.

These fields and allow the Belgorod region to grow grain on them not only for themselves but also for the cattle it processed into feed for animals. At the local cattle feed is grown, which is later used for meat production. And as a final recycling and processing waste into organic fertilizer and electricity! Waste-free production at all personally grown.

The most important thing in agriculture — motivation of staff. The people wanted to work the land, it must something to entice. For example, decent housing. The largest agro-industrial complex of Belgorod, for example, I built a village for their employees and to attract qualified professionals. “There are two types of housing, — said the representative of the company. For temporary use in the long term. Tenants pay only for utilities. Second option: accommodation with the right to repurchase on favorable terms. If the employee works 5 years — 25% off, 7 years — 35%, 10 or more — 50%”.

And the CEO of the largest poultry complex Russia Gennady Bobritsky motivates their employees decent wages. “If you had to get buses to bring employees to the factory, but now the Parking is hard to find. Almost all own cars,” — boasts the owner. Bobicki says that his company work with their families. For women there was a “carrot”: if you are going on maternity leave a young mother is paid no allowance for child care, and 50% of salary. As a result of the fair sex, not having to come back from one maternity leave, smoothly included in the second. Then a similar exemption was introduced limit payment to the woman is produced only once. Another interesting point. For the effective production of chicken meat requires attention to detail. For example, you need to know on chicken egg to determine the sex of the chick. To do this, in Belgorod oblast was visited by the specialists from Asia. Overseas women taught the Russians how with just one look at the egg to see who will hatch out of it. This seemingly small change in 2015, helped the company to sell meat products 516,4 thousand tons.

“Chanel,” but not the”

Sometimes on this trip, my sense of smell had a hard time. Do you know what is alternative energy? I immediately had a vision of windmills and solar panels. Naive. The participants from Russia and Belarus has provided the opportunity to visit the biogas plant in Prokhorovka district of Belgorod region. “Its purpose is not energy security, and environmental issues, — said the head of the district Sergey Kanischev. — The last 15 years, we have vigorously developing agriculture. The question arose, how to dispose waste? This station is a day and processes about 40 tons of waste Sinopoli and about 70-80 cubic meters of pig waste that go to the station through the pipeline. In giant tanks, the biomass ferments and decomposes. This gives utilization of organic fertilizers, as well as the 3.6 MW of energy.”

Trying not to breathe deeply until you go further out from the biogas plant, the head of the Prokhorovka district told media representatives that the locals like to joke: “Chanel”, but not the same”. According to kanischeva, the company is taking into account a wind rose, and therefore tourists are not even aware of its existence.

According to the Governor of Belgorod region Yevgeny Savchenko, in time, they understood how to realize the potential of the region. The thing is — land, 50% of which is state property. “This is a powerful lever of our control. At the time, Stolypin said: “Land is power”. That’s who she is, and the power, — said Savchenko. — The most efficient agriculture today, Israel and the Netherlands. There the land is 100% state property”.

The fact that the Governor is not devoid of truth and this land is useful to confirm specific figures. One of the Belgorod region produces pork more than the entire Belarus — 1 million tons. Over the past 2 years total revenue in agriculture amounted to 50 billion rubles.

Yevgeny Savchenko has calmed all the citizens: the deficit of poultry meat will not. “The ban on the import of food we experienced virtually no problems. On the contrary, we begin to think about where to sell our products. Began to explore the China market, Southeast Asia, the Middle East. Pork is more difficult. China said it would buy us pork when we get rid of ASF (African swine fever). They are right”, — told reporters the Governor.

Union state Secretary Grigory Rapota, which in those days was acquainted with the Belgorod region, revealed the secret of the success of the region. According to him, it is “effective Governor” and the black earth.

The meeting with Yevgeny Savchenko began with his phrase: “We need to get to know each other”. “MK” has agreed with the Governor and said, “You have heard that it is collecting signatures on a petition for your resignation? The initiators and the agriculturists. They say their way to feed the whole of Russia.” The effect of surprise did not work. Savchenko said that in the course of the case. “Normally, when someone is unhappy, — said the Governor. Must be those views. You need to listen, to try to understand and solve the problems of the disaffected, and not to dismiss”.

photo: Lyudmila Alexandrova
At the largest meat processing plant region employs nearly 3 thousand specialists.

“1 dollar should be worth 100. Then we would all “broke”

The issue of import substitution was of concern for many journalists. After all, while the sanctions removed, no one is going — and the question of livelihood of the population is acute. Press conference of the Governor instead of the planned 30 minutes lasted almost an hour and a half.

“Russia has many regions that are great producers of agricultural products: Tatarstan, Kursk, Tambov, Voronezh, Bryansk, which was virtually the capital of red meat, as well as Bashkortostan, Rostov, Stavropol, Krasnodar,” — said Yevgeny Savchenko.

“Today Russia can feed at least 500 million people. And if to consider together with Ukraine and Belarus, then we can feed 1 billion people”, — concluded the Governor.

The problem is that Europe has its own agricultural products. Nevertheless, its niche in the world can be found. According to the head of Belgorod region, Russia could export organic products. Supposedly, from this one and will never give up. “We are on the path of biological agriculture, as well as reducing the pesticide load, — Savchenko told. — In the world there is more topsoil. In Western Europe the soil is a slurry, where they grow certain crops. It is impossible to obtain the fullness and range of food products.”

According to Savchenko, the sanctions are now working only on the investment growth. “We have new opportunities for realization of new projects. For example, the construction of greenhouses. Early tomatoes and cucumbers we got from Turkey and Egypt. Once these markets were closed, there was a niche that we began to occupy ourselves. Turned relations with Ukraine — machine-building complex gave, growth of 15-20% annually. Develop major projects in the mining complex. This year introduced the most powerful 2: stroylensky mining and processing plant investment of about 50 billion rubles, and the Lebedinsky mining and processing plant, where about the same investment, which makes their products competitive in the world. On the market they come out with new innovative product. In creating the investment climate for 2015 in Belgorod region took the 2nd place after Republic of Tatarstan”, — not without pride, said the Governor.

That said Yevgeny Savchenko on, some can cause controversy. The regional head said that the development of agriculture prevent the fear of a possible lifting of the European sanctions and the fact that the ratio of the ruble–the dollar will again reach adequate from the point of view of the consumer, the marks in the 40-50 rubles. It turned out that buyer joy, for a manufacturer — like death.

“We are ready to work, but suddenly the sanctions will be removed, — said Savchenko. We are accustomed to them. 10 years ago I said that I have 1 dollar should cost 100 rubles. If today was so we would have all “broken.” Argued his words to the Governor: “twice devalued the ruble, and twice increased the competitiveness of the Russian economy. It is necessary to take into account the incomes and the purchasing power of Russians, but it cannot be measured in a different currency. It should be measured financially. In the meantime, we actually switched to dollars”, — concluded the Governor. And it is difficult to argue.

Who’s talking…

Belgorod oblast can really. This is a brief summary of the trip. Here is able to cultivate professionals from scratch. There are technical schools, which train personnel for employment in agribusiness. Belgorodchina can feed all the pork and chicken. Clean air and black earth allow to grow ecologically clean vegetables and fruits, and grains. This is the only region in Russia that is already 3 years ago now exceeds 100 thousand rubles, the volume of production per hectare of arable land. This is the most objective indicator of how well developed industry. If all of the above have already put on stream, we will talk about the production, which, as told by his guide, works increasingly for the soul. This company engaged in dairy products. And such there are also. The volume of the produced this particular company milk — 58 thousand tons per year. The payback period for this project is 15 years. That’s a lot, but as said, the managers of the enterprise, milk production is a “strategic industry”. You must take the “challenges of the global economy”. So we’ll see whose cow would low, and whose silent…

Sanctions . Chronicle of events

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