On May 19, Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor Sergey Dankvert delivered a welcome speech at the International Scientific Conference "Food Security: Current Trends in Domestic Consumption and Export Potential". The Peoples ' Friendship University of Russia hosted the conference as part of the Global Food Forum-2021. The conference was held on-line. The event was co-organized by the Federal State Budgetary Institution "All-Russian Plant Quarantine Center" subordinated the Rosselkhoznadzor.
The conference became a discussion platform to prepare for the UN Food Systems that is due before the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA 76) to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The head of the Rosselkhoznadzor pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic, which had changed the normal course of events, had a negative impact on the global economy and trade. The countries that are dependent on food imports turned out to be the most vulnerable under these circumstances. Their vulnerability resulted from stringent quarantine measures, the disruption of the usual supply chains, and the sharp increase in transportation prices. Thus, the pandemic once again highlighted the importance of food independence.
For more than 15 years, the Rosselkhoznadzor has actively ensured food security in Russia and coordinated implementation of its agricultural policy. Over this period, the country has relied on strategy of independence aimed at ensuring self-sufficiency in basic food. Russia has gone from the status of the world's largest importer of agricultural products to an exporter of high-quality and safe grain, meat, fish and many other agricultural products.
Sergey Dankvert said that if at the end of the 80s of the XX century the Soviet Union imported more than 23 million tons of wheat, barley, corn, rye and oats, today Russia exports almost 60 million tons of grain and products thereof to foreign markets. A similar situation is developing in the meat sector. Last year, it was almost possible to achieve a balance between exports (594 thousand tons) and imports of meat and meat products (631 thousand tons), whereas in some years the country imported about 3 million tons.
In 2021, the export of livestock products is continuously growing. Thus, as of May 2, milk and dairy product exports amounted to 47 thousand tons – i.e. 38% more compared to the same period of 2020 (34.9 thousand tons). Beef exports increased by 3.1 times: from 2.4 thousand tons to 7.6 thousand tons. Pork exports increased by 69% – from 25.5 thousand tons to 43.3 thousand tons, shipments of finished meat products increased by 41% - from 13.6 thousand tons to 19.2 thousand tons.
From year to year, Russia exports food to more and more countries. This year the Rosselkhoznadzor recorded significant volumes of fish exports to African countries that previously were not among traditional markets for Russia.
Export growth results from active development of domestic agriculture, increase in food production, and the emergence of new high-tech establishments. Today Russia produces significant amounts of fruit and vegetables, and is almost self-sufficient in mushrooms-champignons, which before were traditionally purchased in Poland.
However, the rapidly growing agro-industrial complex requires competent management, deep and comprehensive study of issues and reasonable use of resources. Environment protection and food safety are becoming increasingly relevant issues. In this context, the Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor emphasized that is is important to organize recycling and disposal of wastes and surpluses coming from livestock and crop production. In general, today it is impossible to separate agriculture and industry progress from environmental agenda, as Sergey Dankvert says.
Director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "All-Russian Plant Quarantine Center" Yevgeny Nazin noted at the conference that the goal of the institution is to ensure phytosanitary, biological, and, therefore, food security not only in Russia, but also in the EAEU Member States. Such factors as many years' research experience, strong laboratory facilities, unique collections and top professionals stand behind the achievements that recognized by both the Russian and international scientific community.
The VNIIKR leading scientists reported on a systematic scientific approach to the application of Risk Management System, presented basic principles of Phytosanitary Risks Analysis and its mathematical modeling and demonstrated implementation of these areas in the context of integrated digital programs and technologies.