A set of measures is needed to stabilize food prices - Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The Cabinet of Ministers will prepare additional decisions in order to stabilize food prices in the country in the long term, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said.

The previously introduced measures to contain the cost of food turned out to be quite effective, the head of government said. Only food prices in the world are still growing, affecting the domestic market. “An additional set of measures is required to ensure the stabilization of food prices in the long term,” emphasized Mikhail Mishustin at a government meeting yesterday.

A number of operational decisions were presented by the Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev. He identified two groups of goods for which during this period of the year there is an uncharacteristic rise in prices.

The first is fruit and vegetable products. Manufacturers have been hit hardest this year by adverse weather, affecting supply. The cost of vegetables and potatoes is also fueling the rise in prices for fertilizers, fuels and lubricants, and plant protection products.

To stimulate production from 2022, additional support measures will be launched, including subsidies for bringing new land into circulation, increasing the volume of vegetables in open and closed ground, re-equipment of production facilities, preferential transportation of products and loans. “Together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, we are additionally working on the issues of ensuring the direct sale of products for small and medium-sized farms, which will undoubtedly reduce the cost of vegetables for citizens,” Minister Patrushev said.

“In general, it is planned to allocate an additional 5 billion rubles in 2022 for the accelerated development of the vegetable growing industry. We also envisage an increase in funding for the coming years,” the head of the Ministry of Agriculture said. These measures should increase production by 15 percent. In addition, it is planned to provide subsidies for personal subsidiary plots, in which the production of vegetables is reduced.

The second group of foodstuffs with atypically rising prices is animal products. This year, the production of the sector will be at the level of 2020, Patrushev stressed. Livestock breeders have two problems. First, there are outbreaks of African swine fever and avian flu. The government approved a decree providing for the extension of preferential investment loans for up to 12 years for industries affected by animal diseases in 2020 and subsequent years. Secondly, the prime cost in the sector is growing due to the rise in the price of feed. “For some items – more than 50 percent. Feed is an average of 60-70 percent of the cost,” said the head of the Ministry of Agriculture. To keep prices down, a floating export duty has already been introduced. “This year, given the growing cost of livestock products, an additional 10 billion rubles will be allocated in subsidies to compensate livestock enterprises for part of the cost of purchasing feed,” Dmitry Patrushev said. And from next year, not only will the state support for animal husbandry increase, but also funds for the development of agriculture will be distributed with an emphasis on this sub-sector.

It is planned to allocate an additional 5 billion rubles for the accelerated development of the vegetable growing industry in 2022

Mikhail Mishustin drew attention to the fact that a number of proposals for food prices come from other ministries and departments. He asked First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov to coordinate the work. “We need to analyze the current programs and understand what we are missing,” the head of government said.

Officially

The government will allocate more than 28 billion rubles for monthly payments for children from 3 to 7 years old, Mikhail Mishustin said. “We have over two and a half million of them in all regions. Since the beginning of the year, we have already allocated more than 270 billion rubles from the federal budget to the regions for these purposes,” the head of the Cabinet emphasized. Poor families receive monthly support. The amount of the payment depends on income and can be 50, 75 and 100 percent of the regional minimum subsistence level per child. Also, about 6 billion rubles will be directed to monthly payments to families with many children at the birth of a third or subsequent child. Such support is provided until the age of three. Additional financing will allow providing payments to over 48 thousand children growing up in large families.

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