The Central Bank of Russia reports that the country’s inflation rate reached 14.3% during the past twelve months, an increase primarily due to soaring agricultural commodity prices. This inflation rate is all the more worrisome as Russia is a net importer of foodstuff.
Russian authorities intend to correct the situation by backing an increase in agricultural production. Consequently, the Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev, and his Prime Minister, Vladimir Poutine, recently announced a set of measures “to guarantee stability of the national agricultural market”, explains the Kremlin former head. With this goal in mind, the Government has revealed three key measures to:
> Boost production, especially in grains, by increasing productive land and yields,
> Stabilize prices by granting subsidies,
> Improve agricultural risk management.
The amount of the investment pledged by the government in Russian agriculture––over $42 billion in total––testifies to its strategic priority. A fact emphasized by Vladimir Poutine when he states that “the socio-economic impact of international economic agreements entered into by the Russian Federation” needs to be analyzed. According to Alexeï Gordeev, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture, these remarks concerned “international agreements, in particular those related to Russia’s planned adhesion to the WTO to establish how the interests of Russian agricultural producers are being spoiled.” In addition to ensuring the nation’s agricultural security, the Russian authorities’ ambition is to carry more weight in the global agricultural marketplace. Last January, then Vice-Premier Dmitri Medvedev stated that “Russia is poised to become a major agricultural powerhouse and reclaim the standing it lost in the 20th century”, while adding that Russians benefit from a vast agricultural potential and that “it would be a crime not to profit from it.”