The share of commodity production will increase to 26%. According to the forecast of the Ministry of Agriculture, in 2018 the potato harvest in all Russian farms will be 26,6 million tons, which is 10% less than the preliminary result of 2017, and 14% lower than in 2016.
As follows from the materials of the agrarian department, the reduction will occur at the expense of households, the yield in which this year may amount to 19,7 million tons against 22,8 million tons in 2017.
In agricultural enterprises and peasant (farmer) enterprises, the Ministry of Agriculture expects potato production to grow by 2,8% to 6,9 million tons. Including in agricultural enterprises, an increase to 4,3 million tons is expected from 4,2 million tons in 2017, in farms - up to 2,6 million tons from 2,5 million tons. Thus, the share of marketable potatoes in the total production will reach 26% against 23% in 2017.
As the executive director of the Potato Union Alexei Krasilnikov explains, in his forecast he tried to take into account the preliminary results of the 2016 agricultural census, which recorded a serious decrease in the area under potatoes in personal subsidiary plots. As the census showed, in 2016 potatoes in private farms were cultivated 36% less than Rosstat estimated. “Therefore, predicting a decrease to 26,6 million tons in 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture relies on the census results, although this volume should be reduced to 22 million tons.
But within the next two years, Rosstat will retroactively align all areas and, consequently, gross fees, ”Krasilnikov told Agroinvestor. Based on the results of the census, the cultivated area in personal subsidiary plots should be reduced by 624 thousand hectares, Petr Chekmarev, head of the crop production department of the Ministry of Agriculture, admitted at the All-Russian Agronomic Meeting.
Thus, instead of 1,9 million hectares under potatoes in 2018, they will amount to less than 1,3 million hectares, including 970 thousand hectares - in households. At the same time, in 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture predicts an increase in planting by 4 thousand ha to 174 thousand ha in agricultural enterprises, and by 5 thousand ha in agricultural enterprises to 131 thousand ha. “There is enough potato in the country, but nevertheless, I would like farmers to not reduce the area,” Chekmarev gave instructions.
Expects growth in commodity production of potatoes and the industry union. “Over the past two years, we see a slight decrease in areas in the commodity sector, although in 2017 it was offset by higher yields. But, talking with market participants, we expect that this year there will be a slight increase, ”Krasilnikov said. In addition, price dynamics may spur growth in sown areas. “In late February, the traditional flow of imports will begin, mainly from Egypt, which usually leads to higher prices until the end of June. However, against the background of the fact that stocks of own potatoes in the country are declining quite quickly, what this growth will be like is difficult to predict.
Thus, if there is a high price on the market, the sown area may exceed forecasts, ”the expert estimates. Earlier, the Accounts Chamber warned of a possible decrease in potato production in the country. In early January, she said that Russia's self-sufficiency in potatoes in 2017 decreased by 7 percentage points to 90,7%, with the threshold set by the Food Security Doctrine of 95% (in 2016 it was 97,7%, in 2015 - 105,1 ,XNUMX%).
“Considering the preliminary results of the 2016 All-Russian Agricultural Census, which recorded a decrease over the past 10 years, the sown area under potatoes in households and the number of households, the volume of potato production can be reduced, which could negatively affect the self-sufficiency of the Russian Federation,” the conclusion of the auditors. According to Rosstat, in 2017, 29,6 million tons of potatoes were harvested in Russia, which is 4,9% less than in 2016. Last year, the statistical office estimates the cultivated area at 1,9 million hectares, in 2016 - at 2,05 million hectares, in 2015 - at 2,1 million hectares.