The existing stocks of Russian potatoes will completely cover the needs of the population in it until May 2018, and last year’s harvest of this tuber, despite a decrease compared to the previous year, allows us to talk about exceeding the target indicator of the food safety doctrine, RIA Novosti was told in the press service of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.
According to preliminary data from Rosstat, the gross harvest of potatoes in the Russian Federation in 2017 amounted to 29,586 million tons, a decrease of 4,9% compared with the 2016 harvest. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture indicated that last year’s yield was only 0,3% less than the average annual level over the past 10 years.
“The potato harvest in 2017 remains at the level of the average annual values of the last 10 years. The reason for the decrease in the volume of potato harvest is difficult weather conditions, which affected the course of the sowing campaign in the spring of 2017 and shifted the harvesting time by an average of two to three weeks, ”the ministry's press service explained.
The main potato production, noted in the Ministry of Agriculture, is concentrated in households. Thus, the share of potato production in personal household plots of Russians in 2011-2016 amounted to about 80% of the gross harvest. At the end of 2017, the share of potatoes produced by agricultural organizations and peasant farms increased to 22,8% (or 6,7 million tons) in the total harvest.
In particular, agricultural organizations in 2017 produced 14,3% (4,2 million tons) of potatoes, peasant farms - about 8,5% (2,5 million tons) of potatoes. The total potato stocks at the beginning of the year, including in households, are, according to the Agrarian Ministry, about 23,8 million tons, which is 17% higher than the average annual rate in 2010-2016.
"According to the Potato Union, the stocks of potatoes sold to the population make up 40% of the harvested crop, which will ensure stable supplies and completely cover the needs of the population in domestic potatoes until May of this year," the Ministry of Agriculture stressed.
In early January, the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation published a report on the results of verification of the effectiveness of measures aimed at replacing imports of fruits and vegetables, as well as the efficiency of using budget funds to develop the production of these products.
Then the agency, referring to the preliminary results of the 2016 All-Russian Agricultural Census, indicated that a decrease in potato production could occur in Russia. This is due to the reduction in the area under potatoes observed in recent years in households and in the number of households themselves.
A decrease in production volumes, in turn, could adversely affect the level of self-sufficiency of potatoes in the Russian Federation. In addition, the joint venture gave an estimate of the Ministry of Agriculture, according to which Russia's self-sufficiency in potatoes in 2017 will be 90,7%, with the threshold set by the food safety doctrine of 95%.
“Based on Rosstat data, the preliminary share of domestic potatoes in 2017 was 97,6%, which corresponds to the level of 2016. The target indicator of the food security doctrine has been exceeded by 2,6 percentage points, ”the Ministry of Agriculture said on Wednesday.
"Consumption of potatoes, including processed potatoes, in terms of fresh potatoes, per capita, according to preliminary data for January-December 2017, remained at the level of 2016 and amounted to about 112,6 kilograms at the rate of 90 kilograms recommended by the Ministry of Health of Russia," - added in the press service.
A source: https://1prime.ru