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"The support of the producers of Kamchatka gives noticeable results"

Deputy Prime Minister of the peninsula Marina Saturday on how to build food self-sufficiency in the north

More meat, vegetables and milk, jams from wild plants, water for export - the development of the agricultural industry and own production of various food products has long become one of the main directions of the economy for Kamchatka. And this work gives results. Thus, in the near future the region will almost completely cover its needs in pork, milk production grows without increasing the number of cows, a feed mill is modernized, farms are developing, and investors engaged in the agricultural sector, including foreign ones, increasingly turn their attention to Kamchatka . More on all this, we talked with the Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Kamchatka Territory, Marina Saturday.

"The support of the producers of Kamchatka gives noticeable results"
Photo: Government of the Kamchatka Territory
- How much is Kamchatka now providing its own food?
 
- If we talk about milk and dairy products, then in 2013 we had 31%, now 42. For meat, this percentage is less - a little more than 20%. But if we "break" it, then on pork we will soon be closed for 70% due to the commissioning of all the capacities of two pig complexes. Poultry meat is still small about a thousand tons, and we consume about 8,5 thousand tons per year. But even here we are developing production and we plan to close the need for our own meat by 50%. As for the egg, we provide ourselves with 83%. On vegetables - we import about 5% of early potatoes, which we do not have. In general, for vegetables, we close more than 60% with a difference to the products that we do not grow. If we now build a hothouse complex, this percentage will be greater, and we can safely continue to develop. 

For food products, we grow each year more than 5%. For example, for bakery products, we had 100% for several years, and now every year plus 1-2% due to the expansion of the range, including through new enterprises.
 
- But considering the climatic features of the region, its remoteness and closed energy system, the industry hardly came to such results on its own. What support measures do you apply?
 
- First of all, this is the support that we interpret as a method of state regulation of the industry's development. Not only has this support been stable for several years, it is also increasing. Since we do not fully provide ourselves with milk, we did not have broiler poultry meat, we focused our support on this production. If we talk about milk, then here we paid more attention to the feed ration, quality and work with the livestock. We, without increasing the livestock, have been growing by almost 10% in milk production for three years already. We have introduced compound feed into the diet without fail, plus we have improved the quality of harvesting new feed - these are new technologies, due to this we have increased production.
 
We also help manufacturers and the marketing of their products. Today in Kamchatka a project for a fair of local producers is successfully operating. We have nine such sites that are working successfully. We are planning to open more - not only in the largest settlements (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Elizovsky regions), but also in other municipalities.
 
- Are there any measures to stimulate enterprises so that new ones come, existing ones develop better?
 
- Yes. Firstly, these are new economic mechanisms - the territory of advanced development and the free port of Vladivostok. Secondly, this is our preferential electricity tariff - only 83 kopecks for agricultural producers, it has been in effect for many years. The budget now spends a little more than 100 million rubles on this subsidy. When a new investor comes in, he immediately asks - how much is your tariff for agriculture?
 
If we talk more about the conditions - these are the support in particular priority areas - they all apply to agriculture. State support - as an incentive, if we needed to develop a broiler, we introduced, supported, now the second project is coming in. If today we need to develop greenhouse vegetable growing, then there are "hooks". If we are talking about small forms of farming, which is important for the regions of the north, central part, that is, grants to novice farmers, they also give their results. There is already a successful experience. We will reorient our support, stimulating the development of one direction or another.
 
- Is a preferential electricity tariff an exclusively Kamchatka idea?
 
- Exclusively ours, at the expense of our funds. Many regions are surprised and envious. Moreover, we are building new energy-saving enterprises. Therefore, if earlier we gave about 115 million rubles from the budget for these purposes, now it is 105 million. The amount of support is decreasing due to the introduction of energy-saving technologies.
 
- Are they consuming less electricity, despite the fact that the number of enterprises is growing?
 
- Yes.
 
- You also said that milk yield increased due to the improvement of the fodder base. How did you achieve this?
 
“We have modernized our feed mill, which has doubled its production in recent years, producing products for all the animals that we have on our farms. The growth in production volumes allows us to reduce the cost of feed. This year, we not only did not increase the cost of feed, despite the fact that our grain is growing in price, but even slightly reduced it.
 
- To what extent is the feed mill currently meeting the needs of local producers?
 
- Completely. Although two years ago, some manufacturers brought from other regions, they said that it was supposedly cheaper. However, the quality was not that high. As a result, empirically, after stuffing cones, everyone came to our local feed mill. We didn’t force anyone. And today this compound feed gives us the opportunity to get good weight gain and milk yield.
 
- Not so long ago it became known that businessmen from China are interested in Kamchatka water. Allegations immediately appeared on the Internet that the authorities were selling the natural resources of the region, and the Chinese would take out water from the peninsula by tankers. How are things really going?
 
- Nobody will take out water by tankers. The point is that we are here in Kamchatka, our plant, bottled water in containers, and Chinese partners come and buy it already in the package. As for the statements that we are selling our resources, I can only say one thing: Kamchatka is the most important pool with clean water, and it is a renewable source. I think it is impossible to sell it. We do not even sell water, but a product made from this water, there is definitely no risk here. Moreover, our Chinese partners openly say that Kamchatka has the best water, even in comparison with Lake Baikal.
 
- If we continue the topic with natural resources, how are things going with the development of processing of wild plants in Milkovo? This enterprise has been operating there not so long ago.
 
- Yes, I am glad that the old food factory that was there has not disappeared. It was restored. Berries, ferns, wild garlic and other wild plants are processed there. Now we are working on the issue of creating a cooperative so that the producer can buy wild plants from the population. But people must understand that they will do it stably, uniting in a cooperative. On the other hand - formalized relations, they will understand how much they will receive, etc. This production is quite successful. In summer, for example, berries are harvested, frozen, and processed in winter. Moreover, today the enterprises are working on export issues.
 
- Are you considering exporting for other manufacturers as well?
 
- Yes, there are such options too. This year we created a regional export center that will help our businesses enter the international market. If we talk about interregional supplies, then, for example, these are our neighbors in Magadan and Chukotka. We are already trying to send our products there. The same sausages, meat, potatoes. In general, with the development of our enterprises, we also look at the sales markets, since production is growing every year. But, of course, the primary task is to close the local market and reduce the cost of products for Kamchatka residents.
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