September 3, 2009

Shortfall in Russia grain output likely this year

The shortfall in Russia's grain production due to drought is expected to amount to 13 million tonnes this year, Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik told journalists Wednesday (September 2), Prime-Tass news agency reports.


The country's gross grain harvest is expected to reach 85 million tonnes this year, she said.


Fifteen regions have declared emergency situations due to drought, which has killed crops on an area of almost 4.5 million hectares, she said.


The government and the Agriculture Ministry have prolonged the maturity of loans with government-subsidized interest payments for one year to farmers affected by drought, Skrynnik said. Furthermore, for farmers who focus solely on grain production the maturity of loans will be prolonged for three years, she said.

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