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Struggle to Rebuild Russian Beef Industry

20 April 2009

RUSSIA - Russia has spent about $8 billion over the last four years importing breeding cattle to reestablish a beef and milk industry.

However, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun, the spending has had little effect.

Last year, Russia produced just half of the three million tonnes of beef consumed and domestic production was down significantly compared the figures for 2000.

National milk production was up only one per cent from 2007 and the Vancouver Sun says the poor performance has caused a row in Russia because since 2005 the federally financed programme has imported 100,000 breeding cattle from Australia and Europe, with Canada and the US were being late contributors because of BSE.

The animals were meant to be the foundation of a national dairy and beef herd that would make Russia self-sufficient in meat and milk products and also give it the ability to export.

The Vancouver Sun says that one of he reasons the plan has failed is because the country has little cultural history in beef production and also because the farmers are more used to dealing in poultry and pigs where the payback on production is quicker.

The reports says that while the breeding stock was being imported, the infrastructure to accommodate the animals was not in place.

However, the Vancouver Sun reports that the Deputy Prime Minister Victor Zubkov has now announced a new approach. Moscow is going to put up the equivalent of another $2.6 billion to provide small family farms with milk herds of about 100 animals with the aim of supplying local markets.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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