Agriculture & Food: what future brings?

Thursday, February 2nd, 10:45-12:00

The agricultural sector has experienced rapid growth over the past five years. In general, this growth can be attributed to the low base effect (agricultural output in 2005 stood at its lowest level since the early 1990s) and government support via subsidies and tax breaks that made the sector attractive for investment.

Many leading companies have substantially expanded their production capacity, which has led to significant import substitution but could precipitate a glut of products on the domestic markets.

Against this background, leading analysts expect increased competition on Russia’s key agricultural markets and are concerned over the outlook for agricultural exports given Ukraine’s membership of the WTO and Russia’s forthcoming membership.

For our panel discussion, we ask representatives of leading Russian and Ukrainian food and agricultural holdings to share their views on the following issues:

Should we expect the government to shift its priorities? How will it continue to support the sector? What are the government’s long-term priorities for the sector? Will the state undertake additional measures to promote the development of individual segments (such as the beef and dairy industries)?

As the major players react to the gradual saturation of domestic demand, when will import substitution be played out in particular segments? How will changes to the customs regime impact various segments after WTO accession?

Is the domestic agricultural sector globally competitive in terms of technology and organization of production? What impact will price changes have on local agricultural production?

Will we see price wars, a wave of consolidation or the exit of small players from the sector? Would further vertical integration help to protect companies?

 
 
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