Chelyabinsk Region Ministry of Agriculture says local farmers are in dire straits

‘The current state of events at the local agricultural market is simply deplorable. The problem is of social rather than economic nature, since the livelihood of thousands of people depends on the conditions and opportunities of producing and selling their foods,’ Farming Coordination Director of Chelyabinsk Region Ministry of Agriculture Igor Kushnirenko said at the round table discussion devoted to ways of introducing the quality produce of local farmers on the regional markets.

‘Helping our farmers sell their produce should be seen as a top priority national challenge. These types of food producers don’t have the infrastructure needed to enter the markets on their own. One way to deal with the problem would be to set up agricultural consumer co-operatives,’ Mr. Kushnirenko said.

‘The co-operatives that are being set up at the moment aim to break into the municipal markets. This is the first-level step, and we’ve got some experience here. Yet our capabilities are somewhat limited. The amount of foods that a city district needs is insufficient to ensure the stable supply the farmers need; this is why we are trying to make our produce available in large market segments in Chelyabinsk, Magnitogorsk, and Zlatoust. A big city is a kind of market where you have to meet very high quality and appearance demands imposed by chain stores and shops. So, it would make sense if we created a system responsible for collecting the foods from the farmers and their primary processing. Firstly, farmers need to set up a co-operative that will sell its produce on the municipal markets. Secondly, we need to create conditions that would let the second-level co-operatives become efficient as well. According to our business plan, this would require 2 million RUR,’ he added.


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