Alexander Zakharchenko: "DPR's food security at high level"

On Friday, February 9, Head of the Donetsk People's Republic Alexander Zakharchenko held a working meeting with the Acting Minister of Agro-Industrial Policy and Food of the DPR, Vladimir Antonov, and Eduard Yershov, Director of the Department for Regulation, Coordination and Development of the Agro-Industrial Complex of the Agro-Industrial Policy and Food Ministry.

The Minister reported on the state of winter crops sown last year, and spoke about the prospects of the sowing campaign in 2018. According to Antonov, the weather conditions are favourable for season crops' successful overwintering.

"In autumn, winter crops were sown in the DPR territory, covering the area of 98 thousand hectares. This figure outperformed the indicators of 2016 by 4,5 thousand hectares. Weather conditions are favourable for the season cereals' overwintering. Winter crops are in good condition," Antonov said.

Besides, the Minister of the Agro-Industrial Policy and Food thanked the Head of State on behalf of the agricultural producers for the implementation of the programme for deferring payments for fuel and lubricants.

"All participants of this programme wrote letters of gratitude and asked for the extension of this practice for 2018," Antonov noted.

Alexander Zakharchenko responded favourably. In addition, the Head of the DPR promised a number of positive changes in taxation and reporting for agricultural producers.

"A round table will be held on this issue, since our task is not confined to supporting agricultural producers, but also includes the accommodation of the state interests," Alexander Zakharchenko stressed.

The Head of the Republic set new tasks before the Acting DPR Minister of Agro-Industrial Policy and Food. Speaking about the future sowing campaign, Vladimir Antonov noted that the Republic is ready for it.

"In 2018, the sowing area is planned to cover 121 thousand hectares. As of February 8, the seed is 70% supplied. Work is under way to provide enterprises with seed to 100%. In the Republic there are 7 thousand tons of fertilizers – this is 2 thousand tons more than last year. We will completely satisfy the need for fertilizers until the end of March. Besides, on the fields there will be operating more than 1,700 pieces of equipment and attachments, including state machinery. We can say that today, on February 9, we are almost ready for a sowing campaign," the Minister said.

The Head of the DPR summed up the results of the meeting.

"I perfectly understand the volume of work that you have done. If we compare the year 2018 with 2014, we can say with confidence that food security is at a high level. We are in a position to feed the population with our own products. This is the merit of the Ministry of Agro-Industrial Policy and Food, and agricultural producers, who participate in government programmes. Nevertheless, I believe that there is still a lot of work to be done. The only objective is to make sure that our products are sold at our stores at a low price," Alexander Zakharchenko said.