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Israeli technique in Russian centre

"Russia step closer to self-sufficiency"

The boycott is causing more competition in Europe, says the Russian envoy in Brussels. Israeli companies are building a storage centre near Vladivostok. More should follow in the coming years, bringing Russia closer to self-sufficiency. According to Russia, the country is ahead of schedule with this objective, and the country is mostly self-sufficient. A greenhouse centre that was opened last year, already harvested 10,000 tonnes of cucumbers, and a batch of bell peppers was destroyed. Finally, Russia is willing to give Ukraine deferment of payment, which seems to be a cautious shift towards the West.

Russian sanctions cause competition EU
According to the Russian trade representative in Belgium, Anatoly Gorshkovas, the boycott leads to increasing competition within the EU. Belgian growers felt the consequences of the boycott, with reports saying trade has decreased by 5.5 percent as a result of the boycott. According to the Russian envoy, Europe has few possibilities to absorb the effects of the sanctions. Subsidies are an obvious option, but there aren't sufficient funds available, says Gorshkovas. Looking for new markets is also difficult, he thinks, due to the economic downturn all over the world. Therefore, he concludes, the European countries are competing with each other.

Israeli technique in Russian centre
In the east of Russia, near Vladivostok, a new agricultural centre is built using Israeli techniques. It's the first of fifteen projects that are to be built across Russia with help from Israeli companies, as became apparent during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. About sixty percent of the centre is used to store vegetables, fruit, potatoes, meat and fish. And in addition to the centre providing around 400 jobs, the sales system is automated in such a way that nothing can be sold under the counter anymore. The Russian government is investing heavily in such storage facilities. The goal is to get the food prices to go down by 15 to 25 percent with the improved storage, and it should provide the agricultural sector with thirty to fifty percent more revenue.

Russia step closer to self-sufficiency
According to figures recently presented by the Russian Ministry for Agriculture, the country is ahead of its schedule toward self-sufficiency. According to the figures, the country is 87 percent self-sufficient, according to the set guideline from 2010 that should be 85 percent. For potatoes, the country is even said to be 97.4 percent self-sufficient, while the target was 95 percent.

Greenhouse centre in Russia produces 10,000 tonnes cucumbers
In the Volgograd region, near Volzhsky, a five hectare greenhouse centre was opened last year. The centre has new techniques, so that cultivation can continue even in the cold winter months. This year, cucumbers were grown there under the Botanika label. According to the figures, 10,000 tonnes were already harvested this year, a significant increase. The origin of the centre dates back to the Soviet era, when the first greenhouses were built at this location. In the years following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the centre fell into disrepair. In the early 2000s, the centre was bought and renovated. The regional demand could be fully met with cucumbers from this greenhouse. The cucumbers and tomatoes under the Botanika label are marketed in a large part of Russia.

Ukrainian export up
Between January and October, Ukraine's export went up. The tomato export to the EU amounted to 4,000 tonnes, an increase over the previous year. Most of these tomatoes were exported to Poland. The export of apples increased sharply, from 113 tonnes in 2014 to 2,020 tonnes in 2015. Belarus is the most important market for the Ukrainian products, with a 75 percent market share in tomato export. It's also the most important market for apples. All in all, Ukraine exported 15,000 tonnes to Belarus. Presumably, many of the products are transported to Russia through Belarus. That presumption is supported by the sudden increase in export from apples to Belarus in October, for instance, when Crimea closed its borders to Ukrainian apples.

Russian supermarkets pay growers in advance
Three supermarket chains in Russia, Aleks, Pyaterochka and Verny, have agreed to pay growers in advance for the coming harvest, Russian media report. The supermarkets in the Vladimir region say they will buy vegetables and potatoes from the region next year as well. The partnership was established early this year.

Russia destroys 14 tonnes of bell peppers
The phytosanitary service in Russia recently destroyed 14 tonnes of peppers. The shipment, said to contain illegally imported peppers, was intercepted in the St. Petersburg region. In the accompanying documents, there was no information on the phytosanitary inspection, and the logistical route taken by the shipment was confusing. The peppers originated from Israel according to the documents, but that could not be confirmed.

Russia prepared to defer payment Ukraine
Before the end of the year, Ukraine has to repay three billion dollars to Russia. While Russia was initially rather rigid, now there seems to be some room for negotiation. Russia does want a guarantee from a creditworthy partner though, like the EU or the US. This way, Putin seems to be seeking some rapprochement to the West, using the momentum that was created in recent weeks.
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