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The Far East will provide itself with products

What will the Far East TORs of food security in the region?

Today, the Far East is very dependent on external supplies of food from other regions of Russia and from abroad. However, in the near future the situation in the agriculture of the macroregion will change for the better by attracting investors, including major players of the federal level and foreign companies, into the projects of the territories of advanced development.

The Far East will provide itself with products

Rostislav Turovsky

Doctor of Political Sciences, Professor of HSE, Scientific Editor East Russia

In 2015, the share of the Far Eastern Federal District in the total volume of agricultural production in Russia was extremely small - only about 3,1%. Among the Far Eastern regions, more than 50% of the total agricultural production is provided by the Amur Region and the Primorsky Territory, and together with Yakutia and the Khabarovsk Territory their share reaches 82%. However, in the Far East, only potatoes and corn are produced; The traditional branch of specialization is soybean, the gross yield of which provided more than half of Russian production last year. For other products, especially meat, the level of provision of regions is very low.

Meanwhile, in January-June 2016 of the year, the DFO index of agricultural production showed an increase (+ 2,2%) compared with the same period last year, which generally corresponds to the figure for Russia (+ 2,6%). At the same time, colossal growth was recorded in the Chukotka Autonomous Region (+ 35,8%), but this region is distinguished by small and unstable production volumes. One should especially appreciate the success of Sakhalin (+ 18,1%), where the new regional authorities began to pay increased attention to the agro-complex, and invested large budget funds in it. A good growth shows the Amur region (+ 5,3%), for which the AIC is traditionally of great importance. Three more regions show a slight increase - Magadan Region (+ 2,0%), Kamchatka (+ 0,9%) and Khabarovsk Territory (+ 0,7%). It is known that the authorities of the two remote and rather closed regions - Kolyma and Kamchatka pay special attention to the development of their own agricultural production, and this gives its results. However, a number of regions for which the agro-complex plays a large role, and a significant part of the population lives in the countryside, slightly worsened their performance: this happened in the Primorye Territory (-1,0%) and Yakutia (-0,5%), and the most significant and alarming drop occurred in the Jewish Autonomous Region (-6,3%).  

The development of agriculture in the region is promoted by the territories of advanced development that will allow each region to focus on its competitive advantages in the agricultural sector. At the moment, 270 projects, announced and implemented within the framework of the TOP, 44 are enterprises for the production of food products with a total output capacity of up to 1 million tons. According to preliminary calculations, the volume of investments for these projects will amount to 86 billion rubles.

At the moment, three territories of advanced development from established 13 have agricultural specialization. At the same time, two of them are located in the most "agrarian" regions of the Far East - in Primorsky Krai and the Amur Region: this is the Mikhailovsky TOR and the Belogorsk TOR, respectively. The "Southern" TOR in the Sakhalin Oblast, also having agrarian specialization, has been created. In addition, in the TOP, having a more diverse specialization (such as Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk in the Khabarovsk Territory, Kamchatka, Nadezhdinskaya in Primorsky Krai and Kangalassy in Yakutia), 10 projects in the field of agriculture will be implemented With an investment of 13 billion rubles.

The Mikhailovsky TOR now accounts for the bulk of all investments in agricultural projects in the territories of advanced development. At the moment, the total amount invested by 12 investors is 61,7 billion rubles. At the same time about 40 billion rubles will be invested by two anchor investors, who will be engaged in pig production. The big success was the fact that this RUS was able to attract the largest player of the Russian agribusiness, Rusagro, as a resident, who is active in many regions of Russia and has not previously engaged in the Far East. Established in the Far East, a subsidiary of the agricultural holding Rusagro-Primorye plans to build ten pig complexes with an output of 700 thousand heads, as well as a complex for the production of mixed fodders and an elevator. The total amount of investments up to 2020 year will be 22 billion rubles. Local company "Mercy Trade" does not lag behind Rusagro, it will also build complexes with simultaneous maintenance of 700 thousand pigs, investing about 20,3 billion rubles. The implementation of only these two projects, according to preliminary estimates, will allow 2018 to increase pork production in the region by 14 times, to meet the existing need of Primorye, to organize large supplies in the Far Eastern Federal District, and in the long term to export. In addition, within the framework of the Mikhailovsky TOR, projects will be implemented in the field of growing soy and maize, milk and beef production.

TOP "Yuzhnaya" in the Sakhalin Oblast currently has one officially registered resident, representing the same business group that operates in Primorye, as well as Mercy Agro Sakhalin. The scale of the Sakhalin project is much smaller: here the company intends to invest 2,3 billion rubles in the creation of the second stage of the pig-breeding complex for 62 thousand heads. But in the near future, other anchor investors, mainly regional players, should appear in this TOP. "Zarechnoye Farm" and "Green Agro-Sakhalin" invest about 4 billion rubles in the construction of two livestock complexes with a total processing capacity of almost 20 thousand tons of milk per year, and the "Teplichny" state farm will build a greenhouse complex worth 1 billion rubles. For Sakhalin, these projects are of great importance, as they are aimed at import substitution and increasing the level of food security in the region. It is expected that thanks to them, the region will be able to provide itself with pork of local production at 67% (now - only at 15%), milk - at 58%, greenhouse vegetables - at 81%. These indicators are considered good, if you recall that about 75% of all food is brought to Sakhalin from the mainland.

Unlike the Mikhailovsky TOR, which is designed to significantly reduce the deficit of meat products in the region, the anchor resident of the Belogorsk TOR focuses on the direction already developed in the region - the cultivation of soybeans. The company "Amurragrocenter" plans to invest in the construction of the only plant in Russia for deep processing of soybean 1,1 billion rubles, which is more than 70% of the total number of investments in this TOP. In addition, in the next two years, a feed mill will be built in Belogorsk (Agrotechnologies will invest 334 million rubles) and the Belogorsky Bread bakery (18 million rubles of investments). At the moment, the Amur Tor problem is the problem of attracting large investors, but the organization of even three productions, especially given the unique project of the Amuragrocenter, is a good result.

In addition, we can not fail to note a major project in the special economic zone (SEZ) in the Soviet Harbor of the Khabarovsk Territory, where the Thai company Sutech Engineering plans to build a sugar refinery for the processing of sugar worth 200 million dollars. The company intends not only to provide the Far East with sugar, but also to export its products. The project will violate the monopoly of the only and insufficiently large sugar producer in the Far East, the Primorsky Sugar plant in Ussuriysk. The new project is noteworthy for many reasons. Firstly, a large foreign investor will be involved in the construction; secondly, the project will contribute to resuscitation of the SEZ regime (which was difficult to develop in the Far East); thirdly, a large amount of investment will be invested. Although this project is a single project, it gives a good signal to foreign investors and increases the attractiveness of the Khabarovsk Territory.

The Russian-Chinese Fund for Agro-Industrial Development (RKFAR) should also contribute to the development of agriculture. The initial capital of the fund amounts to 13 billion rubles, of which the investment of the managing company of the Asia-Pacific Food Fund amounted to 11,7 billion rubles, the investment of the Development Fund of the Far East - 1,3 billion rubles. It is assumed that the projects will be funded by 90% by Chinese partners, and the remaining 10% will be provided by the Russian side. But at the same time, in order to protect the national labor market, it is stipulated that at least 80% of the personnel of the implemented projects will be Russian citizens, the share of foreign workers should not exceed 20%. This condition will create a fairly large number of jobs for residents of the Far East. At present, 27 projects with total investments of more than 190 billion rubles are currently under consideration by RKFAR, which are aimed at the development of crop production (soybean, corn, rapeseed), animal husbandry (pig breeding, dairy cattle) and the creation of the infrastructure of agro-industrial complex (creation of transshipment and storage facilities ). The first projects to be supported by the fund will be presented at the Eastern Economic Forum later this year.

Finally, in the Far East since June 2016 the well-known program "Far Eastern hectare" was launched, which allows Russian citizens to get 1 hectares of land in one of the Far Eastern regions for free. In case of successful development of the land within five years, the hectare will become the property of the participant in the program. The land can be used for residential construction, entrepreneurial activity or farming. The appearance of private farms on these "hectares" will not radically change the situation in the agriculture of the Far East, but still help to solve local issues of providing the population with local products.

Thus, the Russian government is pinning great hopes on the implementation of projects within the framework of ABD, which, among other things, allow us to solve the issues of food security of the Far East. Many experts and bureaucrats assume that in the medium term, there can be almost complete elimination of the shortage of food of local origin, as well as a significant reduction in the cost of food in the Far East. However, this process is just beginning, and it’s too early to talk about a guaranteed result. If we evaluate the current successes, then a lot of work has already been done, but the search for investors, including foreign ones, should not stop, since the potential of existing projects cannot significantly change the situation with the provision of the Far East with food. The Primorsky Territory remains the most attractive region in the Far East for agrarian investors, it will continue to increase agricultural production through new projects under the Mikhailovsky Territorial Development Platform and consolidate its leadership positions in the macroregion. In addition, the driver of agriculture in the Far East, together with the mechanisms of TOR, can be projects supported by the recently established Russian-Chinese agricultural fund.

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