2019 is called a breakthrough year for the country's milk processing industry, and especially for the agrarians of the Moscow region. This was discussed at the VI Agro-Industrial Dairy Forum. What is the success guarantee of the modern agro-industrial complex, what measures of state support are the most effective today for the agrarians of the Moscow Region – we talked about this and about many other things with Andrey Razin, Minister of Agriculture and Food of the Moscow Region.
- If we talk about milk processing enterprises, which have been actively developing in the region over the past few years, can we say that this growth today is taking place in the conditions of fierce competition? Or is this niche still not filled?
- For agriculture in the Moscow region, the dairy production is one of the most important priorities. But we still have not resolved the issue of meeting the needs of our own population with dairy products. This is the product that has not yet reached the thresholds under the food security doctrine. Therefore, we are only in favor of competition! The main thing is that the competition is fair and open. When the fair rules of the game are respected, it makes our manufacturers move forward and think about how to improve their quality, how to fight for the consumer, and how to reduce costs.
It is very important that there is a steady demand from the consumers, which will allow the manufacturers to develop further, so that people consciously choose Russian products. In order not to be agitated by the dubious marketers who claim that milk consumption in the adulthood is harmful. In fact, the nutritionists, on the contrary, recommend that dairy products shall be included in your diet for the balanced nutrition of an adult. Milk is definitely a healthy product that requires an increase in production.
- Andrey Viktorovich, what, in your opinion, is the future of the agrarian sector of the Moscow Region -the large holdings or the private farmers?
- It is impossible to count only on the large manufacturer. A large manufacturer is a mass product; it is a narrowing of the product line, a certain minimization of costs. Such product is affordable at price and is fairly balanced in quality. But at the same time, speaking figuratively, this is the lack of the warmth of hands in the product that is sold. Farmers, on the other hand, are the people who live on the ground, invest their soul in every product. You can never find, for example, the same cheese from different farmers; it will always be something individual. Therefore, we certainly support both the farmers and the large manufacturers. Within the framework of the state program, a large amount of funds goes from the regional budget to support the farming of the Moscow Region precisely because we believe that success is due to the balanced market. Our task is to open the doors for all the manufacturers seeking to produce the honest product.
- Tell us about innovations in the state support programs for the region farmers?
- We are gradually moving away from the practice of universal support for the agricultural enterprises and, in fact, we are on the verge of fundamental changes in financing, moving on to the practice of the efficient enterprises stimulation. If we analyze the number of closed enterprises and the money issued as subsidies, we get a serious amount. Therefore, we conducted a stress test, which showed that 30% of the enterprises in the dairy industry operate either under zero profitability without the state support, or are in arrears. Today, the state is first of all trying to support those farms that are actively developing, investing in the development of production, in promotion, in this case they can count on much greater support. We give priority to the industries that conduct deep milk processing and the farms located in the areas remote from the center that create jobs in the province. In total, we provide about 60 types of various financial support. This makes it possible for the fairly dynamic development of the dairy industry of Moscow Region.
In response to a question about the imported equipment, which is mainly present at the farms dairy production, and rather vague prospects for its supply and service under sanctions, Andrey Razin said that he did not see any problems:
- The market is highly competitive, and the market is not only the European Union, it is a number of other manufacturing countries that are not so famous in Russia, but generally feel very comfortable around the world. Obviously, none of the largest suppliers of dairy equipment is thinking about minimizing its presence in the Russian Federation, since it is beneficial for them.
We had negotiations about this. And DeLaval, and Lely, and GEA – these enterprises are present in the Moscow region to one degree or another already today, the very GEA makes the stall equipment here in Moscow suburbs. But localization is a complex process, because technology is the most valuable. I think that in the future we will find opportunities to negotiate with someone from the big three dairy producers.
The AGROFARM Exhibition organizers support the production localization ides of the equipment demanded by the Russian agricultural producers and plan to hold a discussion on this topic within the upcoming industry forum.