On October 5, speaking at a solemn ceremony dedicated to the Day of Workers of Agriculture and Processing Industry, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov said that agriculture is the key branch of the regional economy and the basis of food security of the republic.
Tatarstan State Counsellor Mintimer Shaimiev, Prime Minister of the republic Alexey Pesoshin, Chairman of the regional State Council Farid Mukhametshin, Chief of Staff of Tatarstan President’s Administration Asgat Safarov, Minister of Agriculture and Foods of the republic Marat Akhmetov, leaders of the advanced regions, the best machine operators and old stagers of the industry took part in the event held at the Kazan Tennis Academy.
In his welcoming speech, Minnikhanov noted that agriculture and food industry account for 11 per cent of the gross regional product. In terms of gross agricultural output, Tatarstan is one the leaders among Russian regions and ranks first in the Volga Federal District.
According to Tatarstan President, despite unfavorable weather conditions in recent years, Tatarstan has managed to maintain its potential and pick up a good harvest - more than 5 million tonnes of grain this year. "We also expect a record harvest of sugar beet in the history of Tatarstan - more than 2.8 million tonnes, but there is an opportunity to increase this figure up to 3 million. The republic is a recognized leader in dairy cattle breeding. In 2017, gross production of milk will be more than 1.8 million tonnes with a growth of 2.2 per cent, about 500,000 tonnes of cattle and poultry meat will be produced," Minnikhanov said.
He stressed that Tatarstan is one of the few regions in the country, the agro-industrial complex of which provides the population with the main products, while delivering significant volumes to other regions of Russia. The products of the regional producers are becoming more competitive, Minnikhanov said. "This is the result of hard work and well-coordinated actions of several thousands of agronomists, livestock breeders, machine operators, veterinarians and those who ensure the food self-sufficiency of our region. Our people are the main asset of the village!"
Tatarstan President continued the republic is focused on the development of small farms. There are about 450,000 private farm households, more than 4,700 farms, about 1,200 family farms in the region. They account for half of the regional volume of agricultural products.
The republic is actively working on the implementation of major investment projects. Works on construction and modernization of livestock facilities, grain elevators and greenhouse complexes, more than 20 large facilities with a total investment volume of 25 billion roubles, are underway in the republic in 2017. The infrastructure of storage and processing of agricultural products is developing. For example, since 2013 the country’s largest agro-industrial park has been operating in Kazan. Moreover, two agro-industrial park were opened in Naberezhnye Chelny and two more in Nizhnekamsk and Bavly. This year, the programme for the construction of agro-industrial parks in rural areas has been launched.
"Special attention has been paid to improving the quality of life of people in the countryside, developing territories, creating a modern social infrastructure recently. In total, there are 37 programmes, and most of them are with a focus on the village. Educational and sports facilities, access roads, medical and cultural facilities are being built in the countryside. This work will be continued in the years to come,” Tatarstan President added.
Minnikhanov expressed special words of gratitude to old stagers of the industry, power engineers, machine builders and transport workers. He also thanked Tatneft and Taif companies for providing agricultural workers with high-quality fuel at a preferential price and villagers for holding weekly fairs in the cities of the republic.
Then, Minnikhanov handed in state awards of the Republic of Tatarstan.
Shaimiev also congratulated workers of agriculture and processing industry.
"The Day of Workers of Agriculture is a painstaking holiday of centuries-old labour of all previous generations, our fathers and grandfathers, who worked all their lives with the hope of a better harvest. Today's achievements of the republic are the celebration of work of farmers, cattle breeders and all those who are daily engaged in this industry, real workers who have made a historic breakthrough at this stage of agricultural development. This is the greatest victory. And do not be afraid of this word. This is a centuries-old historical event, it will be remembered and will go down in history. We have collected the highest harvest in the history of our republic. Five million tonnes of grain, if there is normal weather, then a harvest of other crops will also be added to it. The republic is successfully developing in all sectors, becoming an example for the whole country under new conditions of farming. This demonstrates energy, understanding and ability of our people to work on their native land. We have reached such heights in the production of grain and other types of products which are very difficult to conquer all over the country. But there are possibilities for that. The main thing is that we have shown that we are able to work," he said.
Expressing gratitude to all workers of the industry, Shaimiev noted the special role of Minister of Agriculture and Food of the republic Marat Akhmetov has played in the achievements of the republic.