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94.7

107.0

95.5

Long stemmedflax (fiber), thousand mt

59.0

85.9

80.8

47.6

Yield, hundred mt per hectare

Grain (weightafter processing)

12.9

111.2

82.7

81.1

Sugar-beet

152

86.4

91.0

67.6

Sunflower

7.1

69.6

71.7

55.9

Potatoes

113

96.6

105.6

104.6

Vegetables

137

96.5

100.0

89.0

Long stemmedflax (fiber)

3.9

100.0

134.5

156.0

Source: Development of Agro-industrialComplex and Farming in RF, issue 2, Goscomstat, 1993, p.85-88; Social EconomicSituation in Russia in 1995, p.36; Social Economic Situation in Russia in1996, p.50.

The drop of production of the main crops in1996 was conditioned, first of all, by the decrease of the yield, because thereduction of the sown areas was insignificant, within the limits of 1% to 5%.Besides the shrinkage of the sown areas, the already traditional technologycauses of the production drop stayed effective: the reduction of use of thefertilizers, plants protection agents, and agricultural machinery. This wascompleted by the unfavorable weather of 1996: the dry may and June in the mainproducing regions at the early stage of the plants vegetation, plus the rainyperiod before cropping.

The grain harvest in 1996 increased by5.9mnmt, though it turned out much lower than the forecast one (about70mnmt), and one of the lowest from the 70’s. Here, the possible significantunderestimate by the official statistics of the real volumes of the gross graincrop should be noted (in 1995, such underestimate was 10%).

As for the grain segment, the shift towardsthe growth of production of the food grain and reduction of production of thefodder grain was observed for the second year (see Table2.12). The share ofthe food grain group (wheat, rye, millet, buckwheat, rice) in the total crop ofgrain increased from 56% in 1991-92 to 61% in 1996. This shift reflects theimportant structural changes of the past years: first, the recession in theanimals breeding had resulted in the relevant reduction of the fodder grainconsumption; second, the reduction of the need for the fodder grain was aresult of the increase, in the consumption structure, of the share of theimported meat and meat products (the poultry, being the largest grain consumingproduct, import grew especially high. Thus, the import of the chicken legs fromthe USA grew from 45,000mt in 1992 to 850,000mt in 1996).

Table 2.12.

Change of grain production structure inRussia


1995

1996

Structure of grain production, %


mn mt

mn mt

1991-1992

1995

1996

Grain, weight after processing

63.4

69.3

100.0

100.0

100.0

wheat

30.1

34.9

42.7

47.5

50.4

rye

4.1

5.9

10.5

6.5

8.5

barley

15.8

15.9

27.4

24.9

22.9

oats

8.6

8.3

11.7

13.5

12.0

corn for grain

1.7

1.1

2.0

2.7

1.6

millet

0.5

0.4

1.1

0.8

0.6

buckwheat

0.6

0.5

0.9

0.9

0.7

rice

0.5

0.4

0.7

0.7

0.6

leguminous plants

1.5

1.8

3.0

2.4

2.6

other

0.014

0.076

0.0

0.0

0.1

Source: Social Economic Situation in Russiain 1996. P. 51.

In 1996, the sunflower became the most unfavorablecrop having shown the greatest reduction of the production and yield. Besidesthe reduction of the sown areas, the late beginning of harvesting influencedthe reduction of the yield. Moreover, the dry summer in the Southern regionsreduced the yield by 30%. The drop of the production seems also due to thealready usual breaches of the agricultural technology: the especially favorablefor the sunflower market situation of the last years resulted in the decreaseof the rotation of this crop in the rotation and depletion of the soils; hence,the reduction of the yield. Despite the decrease of the sunflower harvest, itssignificant export is expected due to the high demand in the worldmarket.

In 1996, the production of the sugar-beet was extremely low: during thelast 15years a lower crop was observed only in 1994 (13.4mnmt). Comparedwith the average annual levels of 1986-90, in 1996, the crop of the sugar-beetreduced by more than a half. Such stable reduction of the feedstock base of thelast years resulted in the decrease of the sugar production from the domesticfeedstock (by 44% in 1996, compared with the average levels of 1986-90 and by20% compared with 1995), the growth of the dependence of the sugar productionon the import of the raw sugar, and the growth of the import share in the endconsumption of the sugar.

The surge of the flax production in 1995 wasconditioned by the governmental program for flax; nevertheless, as it was notimplemented (the flax producers did not receive the pay for their product), theflax production began dropping again in 1996.

Table 2.13.

Dynamics of livestock in ruraleconomy


As of 1 January, mn heads

Change by year, %


1996

1997

1996

1997

Cattle

36.8

35.8

92

90

incl. cows

16.4

16.2

95

93

Swine

20.7

19.5

91

86

Sheep andgoats

25.4

23.6

81

84

Source: Social Economic Situation of Russiain 1996. P. 52.

Animal breeding.In 1996, the number of the animals in the rural economy continued reducing (seeTable2.13) in all the categories of economies. In contrast to 1995, when acertain slow down of the livestock reduction was observed for all thecategories, in 1996, it accelerated for the cattle and, especially, for theswines (due to the extremely large reduction of the number of these animals inthe rural economy). According to the conjuncture poll3 performed bythe IET among the rural producers in October 1996, about 50% of the economiesplanned to reduce, in the first quarter of 1997, the cattle and swineslivestock; 75% wanted to reduce the numbers of poultry.

In 1996, the production of the main ruralproduce was about two thirds of the average annual levels of 1986-90 (seeTable2.14). During the last year, the rates of decrease of the meat and eggsproduction slowed down somehow, but the drop in the milk production was greaterthan in 1995. The general recession in the animals breeding was due, mainly, tothe crisis of this sector in the rural economy; the greatest effect was on thelarge swine and poultry breeding complexes, the entities depending upon theintensive fattening and reacting specially on the fodder shortage and price.The reduction of the animal production began in the private farms, as well,though before 1995 they had shown the production growth.

Structure of rural production. In 1996, the former shifts in the sectoral structure of the ruralproduction remained, though their intensities reduced. The share of theenterprises in the rural economy decreased, with the increase of the privatehouseholds share (see Table2.15). In 1996, the latter produced already alittle less than a half of the produce (against the 24% in 1992), while theshare of the private farms stayed at the level 2% for the last threeyears.

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