28 june 2022

Will there be import substitution in the Russian fruit and vegetable market?

Will there be import substitution in the Russian fruit and vegetable market?

World of NAN journalist spoke with Shilov Guriy Yurievich - executive director of the Fruit and Vegetable Union of Russia. In the course of the conversation it was revealed - when Russia will refuse imported vegetables and what is the share of domestic vegetables on the Russian market.

- By how much is Russia dependent on imported vegetables?

- Currently, the dependence on imported supplies of vegetables for borsch set, that is vegetables in the open ground, is estimated at 10%. With a gross harvest of about 5-5.3 million tons of vegetables, the annual import is 450-500 thousand tons. The main months of supply of imported vegetables are from January to May, that is, in the period when stocks of domestic vegetable products run out. As for vegetables in greenhouses, the share of import dependency for cucumbers is 5%, for tomatoes - 35%. The main supply is from November to May, when the market is represented only by the products of industrial greenhouse complexes that produce tomato and cucumber all year round, and there are no products grown in seasonal greenhouses and open field.

- What vegetables are imported from Kazakhstan?

- What is being done to import substitution of vegetables?

- To reduce the dependence on imports of vegetable products, Russia is currently increasing the area sown to vegetables in the open field, only this year the forecast for the growth of cultivated areas - +6-8%. In addition, work is underway to build modern vegetable storage facilities that allow storage of products for up to 6-9 months, without losing their quality characteristics. Currently, the capacity of existing vegetable storage facilities is estimated at 1.6 million tons (some of these facilities are outdated and require modernization). At the same time, the additional need for their capacity of modern vegetable storage facilities is not less than 500 thousand tons.

For the import substitution in greenhouses, especially for tomatoes, the construction of greenhouse complexes that carry out year-round production of vegetables is currently underway. Under forecasts of the Fruit and Vegetable Union, the volume of production this year will be - 1.6 million tons (+6.2% by 2021), including 880 thousand tons of cucumbers, 650 thousand tons of tomatoes.

- In what year is Russia planning to completely replace foreign vegetables?

- As for the question of when Russia will fully replace imports of vegetables, there is no such an objective yet. The share of borsch set vegetables imports today is about 10%, which in fact corresponds to the objectives of the Food Security Doctrine of the Russian Federation.

Traditionally Russia provides itself with vegetables in autumn and winter and imports them only in spring when its own reserves run out. It is not expedient to completely replace imports since as a rule in spring we already have a fresh harvest that is in demand among the population. And limiting this spring imports in some way is not necessary.


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