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WorldAsiaKirill Ermolenko: Russia should invest in transport infrastructure development and start providing...

Kirill Ermolenko: Russia should invest in transport infrastructure development and start providing cattle-backed loans in order to become the main beef exporter to China


Russia has the potential to become the world’s largest exporter of beef to China in particular, and to the Asian market in general, but for this it is necessary to develop and implement a global strategy.

This was stated today by a member of the regional branch of the Rosta party in the Samara region, co-owner of the Yermak stud farm, owner of the Hereford cattle breeding complex, expert of the Russian-Chinese Committee for the friendship, peace and development Kirill Ermolenko.

“Russia has been exporting beef to China since 2017, and the outlook for this export is promising. The Chinese market is growing rapidly and the demand for high quality beef products is increasing. Russia has an advantage over other countries in terms of price and quality, as it produces some of the best meat in the world. In addition, Russia’s geographical proximity to China means that transport costs are lower than in other countries, ”explains the expert. — The Russian government has taken steps to increase exports to China by introducing a series of incentives such as lower tariffs, improved infrastructure and increased support for small businesses. This has helped create favorable conditions for Russian beef exporters. In addition, Russia is working on agreements with other Central Asian countries to further increase its export potential.

The country imported 1.45 million tonnes of beef in 2021, about 35% of total global beef imports, according to the China Livestock Association. Data for 2022 is not yet available, but it is already clear that China will retain its primacy in the beef import market. The main beef importers to China are Brazil, Uruguay, Australia, Argentina, accounting for almost 70% of the total.

“It is not particularly profitable for China to import meat by ships from other continents, but it cannot meet its needs with cultured beef, and there are no other importers on the territory of the Eurasian continent. Local farmers do not breed livestock for meat for several reasons. First, the rapidly growing demand, which domestic production cannot meet in a short time. Second, the limited land resources and water for cattle farming. Thirdly, the lack of a fodder base, which needs much more to grow cattle than for pigs and poultry. Let me remind you that there is a year, Russian cereals mainly passed through Turkey to the Eurasian Economic Union, part passed through Kazakhstan to China, both to meet the needs of the population and for the needs of animal husbandry And build your own “beef empire” on purchased food is not only stupid, but also economically dangerous. As a result, beef imports remain an important part of the country’s food security,” says Yermolenko.

The prospects for beef exports from Russia to China in the near future look promising. With the right strategy and government support, Russian exporters can take advantage of this growing market and capitalize on its potential.

“For Russia to become the world’s largest exporter of beef to Asia, it is necessary, in my opinion, to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy that includes several aspects at once. First, it is time for us to think about improving product quality. This may include upgrading production facilities, introducing new technologies and training staff. It is time at the legislative level to divide the cattle industry into two sectors: milk and meat. Each must develop in its own way, because the meat quality of a dairy breed is not edible at all, except perhaps for processing into sausages. Second, the industry needs investment. Increasing beef production will require significant investments in cattle breeding, infrastructure, processing and logistics. Russia can raise funds through state support programs, cooperation with private investors and international organizations. The private sector and small farmers can be great drivers for the industry, they again need state support. In Russia, about 20% of all livestock is in the so-called gray zone. And not only, and not so much, aids and subsidies will enable private farms to get by, but a simple and understandable mechanism for a profitable market. After all, farmers are simple people, they know how to raise cattle, but they are far from marketing, accounting and endless reporting to the Ministry of Agriculture, ”explains an expert from the Russian-Chinese Committee for Friendship , peace and development.

Another problem of small farms, according to Kirill Ermolenko, is the difficulty of increasing the number of head of cattle.

“Not every small or private breeder wants to develop and increase the number of cattle, even if they know how to do it. You can grow up to 50% per year, but here the second question arises – how to feed the herd? Feeding needs money equivalent to the cost of the animal itself. It would seem that the solution is simple – take out a loan and expand. But the farmers, sometimes far from being poor, have nothing to offer in the banks as collateral, except their cows. Credit institutions are not interested in such collateral. But if there were preferential loan programs guaranteed by animals, then we would close two acute problems at once. On the one hand, small agribusinesses should show livestock in order to obtain a loan to buy fodder. And on the other hand, tens of thousands of farmers would suddenly appear in Russia, ready to multiply the number of heads of cattle. Thirdly, we should not forget about the expansion of cooperation with Asian countries at the state and corporate level: the conclusion of trade agreements, participation in international exhibitions and forums, as well as the development of trade ties between Russian and Asian companies. But again, until we increase the qualitative and quantitative number of cattle, it is too early to talk about it,” the expert is sure.

At the same time, Russia should invest in the development of transport infrastructure and logistics systems to ensure fast and efficient delivery of beef to Asian markets, and increase cooperation with scientific and educational institutions.

“It is necessary to provide support for research and development in the field of agriculture, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine, as well as to train specialists and farmers in advanced methods and technologies in animal husbandry. cattle and beef production. As ridiculous as it sounds, but so far most pastors are using “trial and error” technology. And most importantly, it’s food. It is time to put an end to the position of the main grain exporters. We just have to save lower quality and therefore cheaper fractions for livestock feed. Implementing such a forward-looking strategy will require the concerted efforts of government, business, and the scientific community, as well as significant time and resources. However, it could make Russia the world’s largest exporter of beef to China and all Asian markets. After all, unlike cereals, meat is a product with good added value,” summarizes Kirill Yermolenko.

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