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Vegetable to help

Vasily Orlov said that the agrarians of the Amur region will receive support, since local stores should have their vegetables and potatoes on the shelves all year round

Against the background of alarming news about interruptions in the supply of fresh vegetables, which are regularly shared by neighboring regions of the Far East, the government of the Amur Region decided, in some way, to preemptively solve the problem of providing the population with farm products. On the initiative of the governor, we organized an off-site meeting with local farmers, listened to their aspirations and promised to support them. EastRussia found out what proposals were voiced by officials and how this meets the real needs of Amur farmers.

Vegetable to help
Photo: pixabay.com

SUBSIDIES TO LOCAL

"Excellent" in the supply of vegetables in the Amur region - Blagoveshchensky, Tambov and Ivanovsky districts. It is in these municipalities that farmers grow most of the potatoes, carrots, cabbage and beets. But if, for example, local white cabbage is a frequent visitor on the shelves of stores in the region, then the situation with root crops does not look at all rosy. The reason is the lack of modern large-scale vegetable storage facilities and the lack of well-established internal sales channels. The Government of the Amur Region proposes to start work precisely at these critical points.

“We will subsidize half of the cost of construction and modernization of vegetable stores from the regional budget for two years. Also, up to 70% for the part-time processing of vegetables - that is, vegetables that are taken from the field and end up on store shelves must have appropriate packaging. We are ready to subsidize these areas, ”Governor Vasily Orlov said at a meeting with farmers.

The head of one of the oldest peasant farms in the Amur Region, the Semena farm, spoke about the proposed support measures, the real weight of which has yet to be tested in practice. The head of the agricultural enterprise, Vladimir Shilov, founded his brainchild against the backdrop of perestroika and has been growing potatoes for almost 30 years - he knows the current situation with vegetable-growing activities firsthand.

FEEDING THE FAR EAST

Shilov manages 210 hectares of land, and 160 of them are planted with potatoes. "Earthen bread" gives a good harvest: the Semena farm harvests at least three thousand tons of tubers per season. But there is nowhere to store such a large volume of root crops: the old vegetable storage, built more than 20 years ago, will hold 600 tons of potatoes at most. And this is not a private incident, but the trouble of the entire industry.

The fact that the first step towards solving the problem should be the development of agricultural infrastructure is confirmed by the Minister of Agriculture of the region, Oleg Turkov. He noted that due to the lack of full-fledged warehouses, Amur farmers cannot ensure uninterrupted supplies of crops.

“The main goal of our work is to make sure that vegetables and potatoes are on the shelves of our stores all year round. Until the new year there are plenty of potatoes and vegetables, but closer to spring they are not, although there are all the opportunities for this. We have proposed measures of support that, in our opinion, should improve the situation. First, we must increase the production of potatoes and vegetables. For this, it is necessary to deal with seeds, apply the prescribed amount of fertilizers, and acquire modern equipment. But it is not enough to grow, the harvest must be preserved. And we have with this the real trouble. Out of 30 thousand tons of storage of vegetables and potatoes, we can store only six thousand tons from harvest to harvest. All storage facilities are both morally and physically obsolete, it is necessary to build new ones, to reconstruct those that exist, ”the head of the Amur Ministry of Agriculture emphasized.

In the meantime, most of the harvest has to be sold - and, for which it is especially offensive to experienced farmers, not to Amur retail chains, but to Khabarovsk, Yakut and even Primorsk ones.

“Very reluctantly retail chains tried to cooperate with us, but now they do not apply at all. Is it that small shops within our own village, and even a little in the vicinity. We deliver to schools, hospitals, kindergartens. And so that to ship to large customers - there is no such thing, they do not come to us. But there is nowhere to store potatoes, they spoil. Therefore, we do not refuse anyone and sell it to everyone. Yakuts know that Amur potatoes are good. We feed the Khabarovsk Territory, Primorye is not the first year, ”said the director of the Semena farm.


VICIOUS CIRCLE

The reasons why large retailers of the Amur Region do not work with local producers are well known, and the regional government is not mistaken here. The potatoes that are grown by farmers do not have a so-called presentation - they must be washed and packaged in a presentable wrapper before being displayed on the shelves. But China supplies root crops already in a beautiful wrapper - even now for sale. In addition, in the Celestial Empire, the harvest is harvested all year round: first, the season is worked out by farms in the northern part of the country, then in the south. Thus, potatoes are supplied to the Amur Region all year round.

“We ourselves would be able to constantly provide local shops with potatoes, but we have nowhere to store them so that they can lie there until spring - there are no premises. Therefore, in vegetable stores we leave only the seed, and sell the rest to everyone. It turns out to be a vicious circle: we do not have packaging and a normal warehouse, and because of this, retail chains are ready to buy from China at exorbitant prices, ”summed up Vladimir Shilov.

In large grocery retail chains in the region, the EastRussia correspondent did not comment on the rejection of the products of Amur farmers, citing the fact that the supermarkets have enough supplies from the local agricultural production cooperative "Teplichny", which is located in Blagoveshchensk.


IT'S ENOUGH

In the Amur Region, 104 agricultural enterprises are ready to fully enter the domestic market with their vegetables: 57 farmers grow exclusively potatoes, another five - other vegetables, 42 act as universal in this area of ​​the economy. Farmers can get targeted and investment loans for the development of vegetable growing and potato growing - the rate on them will be no more than 5% per annum. The greenhouse complex is partially compensated for the costs of electricity.

Within the framework of a new program of support to vegetable growers in the open field, the government is ready to pay 20 thousand rubles for each hectare actually planted. In addition, there is a mechanism for subsidizing the costs of purchasing agricultural machinery (up to 50% of the cost), equipment for washing and packaging (up to 70%) and the construction / reconstruction of vegetable stores (up to 50%). By the way, most farmers regard the last proposal as the most important - although, as farmers say, it would be great to get money from the authorities right away, and not build on their own funds.

“My warehouse of potatoes can hold 600 tons, vegetables - about the same. Plus or minus another 100 tons. I can store a total of 1 tons of crops. And from my land I collect five thousand tons - three thousand potatoes and about two thousand cabbage with beets and carrots. That is, I need four times more space, can you imagine what kind of premises these are? I simply will not find money for such a construction project, if there is no help, I will not pay off my debts later, ”concluded Vladimir Shilov, director of the Semyon farm.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Amur Region has developed a program for the development of potato and vegetable growing up to 2025. Time will tell whether it will be effective.

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