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Japan will grow buckwheat, soybeans and cereals in the Amur region
In the spring of 2013, the government of the Amur Region agreed with the Hokkaido Bank (Japan) on the cultivation of buckwheat, soybeans and cereals on Russian territory. Hokkaido Bank is a financial and credit institution that does not independently engage in agricultural production. As EastRussia.ru was informed in the regional government, its clients, farmers, together with the bank, created the Hokkaido-Russian Agribusiness Complex joint-stock company. This society is engaged in agricultural activities in Russia.
The project is designed for 10 years. It started in 2013, when the Japanese entered into an agreement with the farm "Vladimir" on the joint cultivation of buckwheat and soya in the Romny region of the Amur Region in an area of 410 ha using elements of Hokkaido technology adapted to growing crops in a cold climate. Due to unfavorable climatic conditions, 250 ha of buckwheat, 10 ha of soybean and an experimental plot of corn were sown.
“It has been a bad year. The weather did not allow grain and buckwheat to grow normally due to the waterlogged soil, - said the head of the Vladimir farm Roman Stukun. - The Japanese use mineral fertilizers in their work, they are often too expensive for us. In addition, our daylight hours are longer than in Japan. The rest of the sowing season in our country and in Japan is very similar. "
This project does not involve Russian investments. “The regional government provides information support to this project: assistance in providing information about land plots rented, farms willing to cooperate with a Japanese company, accompanies the Japanese when inspecting land plots and farms,” the Amur Oblast press service reported.
The volume of Japanese investment in the project is still unknown. "The Japanese side plans to grow crops according to the technology used in Hokkaido. For this, modern foreign technology will be acquired. In addition to Japanese specialists, Russian enterprises will necessarily work at the enterprise, "Yu. Nemilostiv specified. It is known that the Japanese will not use genetically modified crops and plan to conduct environmentally friendly production. The added value of products will be increased through quality control and export of products. "Given the climatic features, cultivated crops, we adapt to their conditions. The temperature regime in Japan and the Amur region is approximately the same, but the period of vegetation is much shorter, "Y. Nemilostiv specified.
Contact with representatives of the Japanese company correspondent EastRussia.ru failed. Consul General of Japan in Khabarovsk Noguchi Hideaki could not comment on the activities of the bank "Hokkaido" in the Amur region. "I know that several cooperation projects in the field of agriculture are also being considered in the territory of our consulate district. However, it is too early to talk about what projects they are. Japan views cooperation in agriculture as a new direction for cooperation with Russia, and we hope for its further development, "the consul general told EastRussia.ru.
From the point of view of transportation of goods it would be more logical to grow products in the Khabarovsk Territory or Primorye. But the decision to choose a region for the implementation of the project the Japanese company takes independently. One of the reasons why the Japanese chose the Amur region is the presence of large areas of fertile land in the region and the climate close to the agricultural zones of Hokkaido, believe in the government of the Amur region.
Japan - the largest consumerFir in the world. And logistically to the east of Russia it is very convenient to satisfy their requirements for production. Russia today provides only 4% of Japan's grain requirements.
"For the domestic market of Russia in the Far East, it is possible to develop various forms of processing," A. Zlochevsky believes. - But this is quite a serious investment, and state aid is needed. It is possible to produce various types of products that we do not create in Russia as a whole, for example, modified starches that are used in the oil industry, or dextrose, sugars of various kinds, and so on. "
This cooperation is positive for the Far Eastern Federal District, as it will strengthen the region's position in the agricultural sector by attracting foreign investment and introducing new technologies that will be used in the project, Roman Grinchenko, an analyst with Investcafe, believes. At the same time, this project is in line with Russia's plan until 2020 to increase grain harvest to 120 million tons and ensure food security of the ATR.
In the Far East, there is a need to increase the acreage. "The specific weight of crop production in agriculture of the Far Eastern Federal District is 52,1%, which is only slightly lower than the Russian average, but the share of peasant farms is 52,5%, with an average value in the RF of 78,5%. This shows that the Far East has a significant potential for the development of the KhNF, "Grinchenko said. - If at least 0,5 hectares per capita is needed to meet the domestic demand for agricultural products, and in the FEFD per capita there are about 1,32 hectares of farmland, then we can say that the region has significant export potential. However, here it is worth noting that the promise of this direction is rather doubtful. The reason is that climatic conditions and remoteness of the main export routes passing through the Black Sea reduce the possible profit from such projects. However, it should be noted that China borders on the DFO (about 39% of world buckwheat production), which is also one of the largest exporters of agricultural products, which means a high level of competition. "
Previously, the media reported on the establishment of a special economic zone, which residents could become Japanese farmers. In the government of the Amur region this information is refuted: "The Japanese company will work in Russia according to usual standards. The SEZ is planned near Belogorsk, where, according to preliminary plans, enterprises - processors of agricultural products - soybeans and other products should enter. When this SEZ is created, it is not known now, "Y. Nemilostiv said in an interview with EastRussia.ru correspondent.
There is interest of foreign companies in the agro-industrial complex of the Amur Region. Japan and China are interested in agriculture in the region, they say in the regional government. But there are no specific investment foreign plans yet.