Agro-Industrial Complex of Ulyanovsk Region Keeps High Growth Indicators during Pandemic
Novospassky District summed up provisional results of the spring planting and development of the agro-industrial complex amidst coronavirus disease. The event was chaired by Governor Sergey Morozov.
The head of the region stressed, “President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on development of the agriculture and the food industry. The Head of State instructed to improve strategic objectives for the country's agro-industrial complex and to increase competitiveness of this sector. The important areas for us are grain and fishing industries, as well as sustainable development of rural territories. For example, it is necessary to continue introducing advanced technologies and educational programmes to improve the grain industry.”
Production of milk and meat continues to increase in the Ulyanovsk region. In the first quarter of 2020, the gross milk yield at farms improved by 8.7% compared to the same period last year and made 50.9 thousand tons. Over the past years, the productivity of milking herd has been increasing. In January-March 2020, each cow provided 1526 kg of milk, which is by 17.7% (229 kg) more than last year. Due to implementation of major projects, pork and poultry production is also growing: in January-March 2020, farms of the region received 17 thousand tons of meat, which is by 3.4% more than in 2019.
According to Mikhail Semyonkin, Deputy Prime Minister of Ulyanovsk Region – Minister of the Agro-Industrial Complex and Rural Development, the agro-industrial complex of the region has demonstrated good results. He said, “After the first quarter of 2020, the livestock industry has seen an increase in the number of cattle and the volume of milk and meat production. The index of agricultural production for January-March totaled 102.3% compared to the previous year, and the one for food and beverage amounted to 106.1%. Today, during the difficult economic situation, it is important to maintain the current momentum. This year work in the fields takes place in unusual conditions. But it did not affect the result. The spring sowing has been completed in the Ulyanovsk region; more than 98% of the target areas have been treated.”
The Ulyanovsk region provides farmers with major state support. Before the beginning of field works, agricultural producers receive subsidies paid on a per hectare basis. One hundred and sixty-one million, five hundred and thirty thousand rubles (92.9% of the limit) have been distributed as of 21 May. In addition, the Ministry provides subsidies in other spheres such as preferential loans for farmers. Budgetary funds are now transferred directly to banks, so farmers will be able to receive loans immediately at a low rate (no more than 5% per annum). As of 22 May, the relevant agency approved farmers' applications for short-term loans worth 1 billion 240.1 million rubles. For the current year, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation has allocated 16.8 million rubles of additional subsidies for preferential short-term credits.
As noted during the meeting, for proper spring field work it is necessary to increase efficiency of the agricultural sector by introducing new techniques and practices, which should include international ones. The research-and-education cluster of the Ulyanovsk region's agro-industrial complex is working on this task.
“Students, postgraduates and teaching staff of the Ulyanovsk State Agrarian University were involved in the spring planting. The research-and-education cluster provided scientific and expert advice. This year shows good results under different weather conditions. Fields of the region have a lot of young crops, and this will allow to get a bumper harvest. I would like to mention students' contribution to various spheres such as mechanization and livestock breeding. Our team of students uses its university's digital capacities. Digital services and software are used to assess the crops' condition and to predict their yield. In the future, we will continue working with farmers, as well as train skilled workers for the agro-industrial complex of the Ulyanovsk region,” - said Vitaly Isaichev, Rector of Ulyanovsk State Agrarian University named after P. A. Stolypin.