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WTO accession forces Russia to spend billions on pig industry

The Russian federal government will allocate six billion roubles (US$ 200 million) to support the pork industry in 2012. This amount was announced at a nationwide agricultural forum in Ufa by Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin.

Over three years, total subsidies will be 18 billion roubles (US$600 million), Putin said. The specially designed programme for pork production sector development will allocate six billion roubles per year. The strong production support will be presented due to Russia's WTO accession, to be completed by the summer of this year.

Putin said, “We must learn the best practices of the longtime WTO members. We must learn to use both direct and indirect measures to support our producers. We do not going to give complete control over our agricultural sector or any other industries of the Russian economy. We have not revived the domestic production and agriculture to give it all some unfair competitors. There are a lot of instruments for protecting the internal production.”

Pig industry is a sensitive sector
The prime minister added that the pig production industry, as well as that for poultry production, are the most ‘sensitive’ sectors of Russian agriculture, which require additional protection.

Elena Tyurina, director of the Institute of Agricultural Marketing, said that several developments, filed under Russia’s WTO accession, are a real threat to the industry. She mentioned duty reduction on live pig imports and the abolition of quotas by 2020 on imports of pork.

The expert said that already several large investment projects have been cancelled and in the future, this will stimulate the reduction of attractiveness of investing in the industry.

(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)

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