Medvedev Urges Russia to Beef Up Meat Business

Russia should reduce its dependence on meat imports, saturate the domestic market with meat and secure a firm foothold on international markets, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

He said beef prices have grown almost by one-third lately, which is “a very serious increase.”

“Russia needs to build its own modern, effective livestock industry, lower its dependence on imports, satiate its market with good quality and affordable meat, and take a high-profile, respectable place in international markets,” he said.

Russia has “good natural conditions” for the development of the livestock industry and should make the most of it, he said.

Medvedev recalled that in recent years the industry has received significant financial injections but cattle stock numbers continue to decline, although not as fast as in the past.

A large-scale beef production investment project in the Bryansk Region will meet 10 percent of the country’s beef demand, he said.

Livestock farming will be part of Russia’s state agriculture development program for 2013-2020, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said.

Livestock farming will be given the status of a “sub-industry” in that program, he added. The Russian government will also take note of the farmers requests to “take into account the risks involved in Russia’s admission to the WTO and provide risk compensation or minimization mechanisms,” he said.

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