Agriculture minister says grain shortage in Russia unlikely

21:43, August 11, 2010      

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Russia will not experience serious grain shortages depite an ongoing drought, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik said Wednesday.

The most pessimistic forecast predicts that Russian farmers will harvest 60 million tons of grain this fall, down 30 percent compared to last year due to severe drought and wildfires.

To date, 50 percent of the crops have been harvested, thus 40 million tons of grain have been gathered, the minister said during a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Skrynnik added that 133 billion rubles ( about 4.42 billion U.S. dollars) have been transferred to the farmers.

In case the drought continues even in early September, farmers would sow extra spring crops, Prime-Tass news agency reported.

In 2009, the harvest amounted to 97.1 million tons. Most optimistic scenarios predicts this year's harvest will reach 67 million tons.

Source: Xinhua


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