Russia will be unable to maintain its rice output without additional government support, agriculture minister says

MOSCOW , March 12, 2014 () – Russian Agriculture Minister Nikolai Fyodorov said that without additional support from the state the country will be unable to maintain its rice output.

Rice producers "are in need of additional state support. Otherwise we'll not maintain rice production," Fyodorov said during Government Hour at the State Duma on Wednesday.

The minister said the most effect form of support should be economically meaningful regional programs. The ministry sent the "corresponding signal" to regions where they grow rice, he said.

The situation in the sector became more difficult after Russia joined the World Trade Organization. The duty on rice imports decreased from 120 euros to 45 euros per tonne. As a result, Russia imported 239,000 tonnes of rice last year, 16.2% more than in 2012. Russia grew 926,000 tonnes of rice in 2013 versus 1.052 million tonnes the year before.

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