Krasnodar, August 27 – Yug Times. Our today’s interviewee is Dmitri Rylko, general director of the Institute of Agricultural Market Behaviour.
Q.: The harvest season is coming to an end in Russia on the whole and the Krasnodar region in particular. Are we going to beat our last year’s record?
A.: At the end of June, we forecast a record yield of winter wheat in four key Southern Russian regions – the Krasnodar, Stavropol and Rostov regions, and the Republic of Adyghea.
Nationwide, our forecast was about 80 million tons of wheat, but in reality the yield should be even higher – much will depend upon the situation in the eastern parts of the country. Now we forecast about 130 million tons, which would be an absolute record.
Q.: Presently the Kuban farmers prefer to grow third and fourth grade wheat, not first or second grade. Why?
A.: Right they are – the global market wants high-quality bread-grain, with protein content of about 12.5%. According to our traditional classification, it is either ‘good fourth grade’ or ‘satisfactory third grade.’ Should it be just a little bit better or worse, it would be hard to sell it. To grow first and second grade crops, really expensive technologies are needed.
Q.: The agricultural complex has been stably growing over the past eight years. Will the trend pertain this year?
A.: On the whole, I can hardly see any growth drivers for the agricultural complex. Three years ago, there were such drivers – devaluation of ruble at the background of falling oil prices and food embargo. Now, however, we need some new factors – we believe that ruble may help our farmers if it drops down to the level of 70 – 75 rubles per USD. Another new driver for our agriculture may be growth of the national economy and real wages together with restoration of the consumer demand.