Subsidizing agriculture in the Far Eastern Federal District
The Russian embargo imposed in early August 2014 on some agricultural goods imported to the Russian Federation from the European Union countries, the USA, Australia and Norway has forced the Russian government to revise its strategy of development of the national farming sector.
The targets of the federal government include developing of beef cattle farms and increasing the number of greenhouses. New projects concerning poultry and pigs breeding are being considered, with priority assigned to the districts with low meat production and excessive cereal production. The Far Eastern Federal District is one of those regions.
About 80% of the agricultural produce in the Far Eastern Federal District is produced in four oblasts: Amur Oblast, Primorski Krai, Sakha Republic and Khabarovsk Krai. Despite the fact that half of the counties in those regions are located next to the border and have access to foreign markets, the administration officers from each oblast stress the fact that the agriculture on their territory focuses on satisfying internal demand. This is understandable, as self-sufficiency in providing food security is a struggle in the Far East. On average, the domestic production covers as little as 30% of the demand for meat products, 50% – in the case of dairy products, 80% – in the case of eggs and up to 90% in the case of vegetables, including potatoes.
Financial support and subsidies for farmers
In Russia, the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic is the unquestioned leader in the acquisition of funds for local agriculture. In the federal budget, over 8 billion ruble were allocated to the development of agriculture in the region in 2014. According to Nikolay Vasilyevich Fyodorov, the Russian Federal Minister of Agriculture, a total of about 20 billion ruble was invested in this sector in the Sakha Republic. Consequently, among the oblasts of Far Eastern Federal District, Yakutia took the first place in the number of cows and milk production in 2013.
In 2014, the value of agricultural subsidies in the regional budgets of Amur Oblast and Primorski Krai was reduced. Breeding of dairy cows was given priority. In each region, the financing of agriculture exceeds 1.5 billion ruble.