The Analytical Center and the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia held a Round Table ‘Questions on Creating Agro-Logistics Parks and Developing Agricultural Producers’ Cooperation’
Nurali Rezvanov, the Adviser to the Head of the Analytical Center, is sure that production and logistics facilities are forming the basis for the cooperative farming consolidation. State priorities of the industry are in development of agro-industrial parks, wholesale and distribution centers and industrial parks, according to the expert. ‘Agro-industrial parks are necessary to create a technological system that will provide processing, storage and sales of products with minimal production costs and a reduced system of mutual settlement,’ said the expert. The wholesale and distribution centers are centers for agriculture organizing and producers and consumers' interacting, and industrial parks are sets of real estates controlled by a single operator, according to Mr Rezvanov.
Despite the high maturity of issues related to the state support of agriculture, issues of development of cooperation of small and medium farmers remain unattended, experts say. ‘Today, the agricultural cooperation is in its infancy, although in 2006 there was a task to develop it,’ said Natalia Yeliseyeva, the Deputy Director of the Department for Rural Development and Social Policy of the Ministry of Agriculture of Russia, adding that at the time there was only one development tool - interest rate subsidies.
In 2012 farmers owing private farm holdings and not being on the tax accounting, received a proposal to take part in a ‘New Farmer’ program, and family-structure farms were receiving grants to develop dairy farms and livestock, said the expert. In 2015 another measure of support - grants for the development of the material and technical base of cooperatives, was introduced, specified Mr Yeliseyeva. Among the main problems of the industry expert noted mistrust between members and managers of cooperatives which cannot be solved without an intermediate agent. In addition, Ms Yeliseyeva said that since 2013 to the present time the number of cooperatives has decreased by 5%.
Experts also spoke about retailers making claims to farmers in terms of the volume and the range of products supplied. Trading networks need a large quantity of goods all year round, and small vendors find it difficult to carry out such work. In addition, farmers are dissatisfied with timetables, which they should follow when deliver products. Experts believe that cooperation will not be able to solve problems without production and logistics facilities. Moreover, to change the situation we need a road map and an intelligent system which will be able to clearly define all parameters for farmers.
During the event the experience of Ulyanovsk, Orel, Tula, Volgograd and Vladimir Oblasts, Republics of Komi and Adygea were presented.