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Meat-economy in Russia

Breeding of animals in Russia and the meat-economy urgently need to be improved for being able to meet the needs of the country. Farming, until short time ago, had been cruelly neglected within the Russian economy and only now with the Minister Alexey Gordeyev, who in dead cares for the interests of farmers, these interests are well represented.

After a disastrous decrease in the meat-production subsidies had been assured by him and even extended.

The Russian import of meat arises to 65 percent. Thereof 29,7 percent are considered as meat of minor quality and for poultry 31,8 percent. About 80 percent of these imports are consumed in the cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

According to the statistics of slaughter of the Ministry for Agriculture the figures showed a development as follows: in the year 2005 beef and veal 80 000 tons of living weight had been slaughtered less in comparison to the year before. Slaughter decreased to 545 200 tons of living weight - and this although that the prices for beef increased. For pigs the statistics is even more disastrous. Only 325 000 tons had been slaughtered in a country with 140 million inhabitants. Compared with the year 2004 the quantity arose to 347 400 tons. The only exception is poultry, where slaughter increased by 90 000 tons to 737 000 tons.

During the past years considerably it had been invested in poultry-farms, whereas this is totally different for tending herds. From the moment of insemination until being ready for slaughter a considerable lap of time is necessary and without sufficient capital especially mother-cow herds are not acceptable for Russian great farms, since the delay until slaughter is at least 2 years. During these 2 years salaries for the employees have to be paid. So, most of the farms are interested in products with a more rapid pay-out.

Unfortunately the quality for domestic beef and veal is not really satisfying. Wrong slaughter, setting the animal under stress, to short or no ripening of the meat and too economic feeding (especially for rabbits, pigs and sheeps) reduce their quality. The more there is a lack of fresh meat. Very often meat in the supermarkets is deep frozen products and just thawed. Also to part the meat does not meet the requirements of well situated consumers in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Some lambs seem to be born without filet.

Also an unanswered question is, where does the Russian game remain, although there should be enough. The reindeer, from classical herds in the North near the polar circle seems not to find its way to the West to the metropolis.

Russia by its politics in imports makes himself in a very considerable part dependant from abroad. The extension and investments into the meat-economy are nowadays more and more advised by a social and also by an economical point of view.

Last but not least, consumers regret the lack of domestic good producers, They would prefer to leave their money there, where it makes sense, in their own economy.

Milk economy in Russia

Between mistaken expectations and reality there is an abyss. Pretending that the milk-economy in Russia would be a profitable business does not correspond to reality, but is a chimera, born in a lack of knowledge about that what world-economy really means.

At a first glance, statistical figures of the Ministry of Agriculture seem to confirm those who believe that the milk-economy is a worthy business in Russia. During the first semester of the year 2005 figures of production of fresh milk decreased by about 4 % in comparison of the first semester 2004. The major part of fresh milk as already before, is produced in Russia in private small farms.

This should not astonish, because fresh milk in greater quantities is sold to the milk-processing industry at a market-price of 5 to max. 7 Rubels. Since long the industry has adapted to milk-powder. In Russia the price of milk is oriented according to the world-market-price of powder, and a change of this condition can not be foreseen, as long as milk-powder remains considerably subsidized especially in the European Community.

Milk-powder is cheap, sterile and without risks. Fresh milk, especially in great herds is intensive in labour and needs highly expensive machinery. With low prices for milk the cost for production with expenses for salaries and depreciation on assets on expensive machinery cannot be realized. If ever, profits can only be realised by manipulation of statistics, else and under positive considerations, the milk-economy is just recovering its cost.

So the major part of fresh milk will be continued to be produced by the grandmother with in the stable one or two cows, and this without labourers, without stable for milk and without milking-machine.

Since long, the consumer in towns, got used to the advantage of sterilized milk, non-perishable and by thus easy for use. Pasteurized milk with a relatively short use by date is in disadvantage. To sterilize ones-self for producing milk with an increased durability seems to be impossible, since the market does no more offer small sterilizers, a capacity of 2.000 l/h seems to be usual. Such installations almost cost far more than a quarter of a million Euro.

All supermarkets in Moscow nowadays offer more than 10 different labels of milk. There is no lack of milk, with long delays sell-by date with all different degrees in fat content.

Milk is no more a business in Russia. Milk is a good example for the question, what global price-politics can do to a national economy.

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