(Changes headline, lead, adds quotes, background)
By Polina Devitt
SVOBODA VILLAGE, Russia Aug 22 Russia's farmers
need 636 billion roubles ($17.6 billion) of extra state support
in 2015 through 2020 to boost output, mainly of pork and
poultry, after Russia banned Western food imports, the
agriculture minister said on Friday.
Russia banned food imports worth about $9 billion from the
European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway
in early August in response to trade sanctions over its role in
the Ukraine crisis.
Speaking at a government meeting, Minister Nikolai Fyodorov
told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that the ministry had
drafted a new plan for 2015-2020. The current plan envisions 1.6
trillion roubles in investments from Russia's federal and
"Taking into account all the realities and all the changing
conditions ... we've prepared a moderate scenario of (the
agriculture) industry development, which sees additional volume
of resource support of ... 636 billion roubles in 2015-2020," he
The cash is required mainly to support animal breeding and
crop farming, he added.
"We can cover poultry and pork imports with our own
production already in the short term," Fyodorov said. "But here
one will need ... to decide to extend (state) subsidies for new
projects in this sector until 2018."
Projects in the poultry sector are currently being
subsidised until the end of 2014 and in pork industry until
2016, he added.
Fyodorov also asked for an extra 28 billion roubles from
the 2014 state budget to help cover interest payments on loans
and subsidies for investors in the agriculture sector.
Medvedev did not publicly react to these proposals.
Cherkizovo and Rusagro are Russia's largest meat producers
Fyodorov also told the meeting that Russia's 2014/15
exportable grain surplus was seen at 25-27 million tonnes, up
from an earlier estimate of 25 million tonnes.
He said Russia kept its 2014 grain crop forecast unchanged
at 100 million tonnes and was planning to buy 5 million tonnes
of grain on the domestic market in the 2014/15 agricultural year
to replenish government stocks.
He did not provide details on the restocking plan.
(1 US dollar = 36.1240 Russian rouble)
(editing by Jane Baird)