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Spectacular decline in 2012 grain harvest in key Siberian regions, says presidential envoy

By The Siberian Times reporter
02 October 2012

'The current situation needs additional measures of support from the government', Tolokonsky said. Picture: Vera Salnitskaya 

Severe drought and baking temperatures led to an almost 50% decline in the grain harvest, revealed Viktor Tolokonsky, Russian Presidential Envoy to the Siberian Federal District.

'Farmers of  Altai Territory, and Novosibirsk and Omsk regions harvested quantites of grain almost 50 percent smaller than in 2011,' he said. 

'Those are big regions. Their share in the grain production are maximal. There were damages in the Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk and Tomsk regions, but their grain harvests are closer to the annual averages.'

Altai region is down to under 2.5 million tonnes compared with 4.2 million tonnes in 2011. Novosibirsk will harvest 1.8 million tonnes this year, a drop from 4.2 million tonnes. 

Omsk is down from two million tonnes to one million. 

'The current situation in the sector needs additional measures of support from the government', Tolokonsky was quoted saying by Itar-Tass.

'Relevant decisions to support farmers will be made at the federal level.'

Grain prices have been rising in Russia because of the shortfall. Weeks of relentlessly hot and dry weather in the summer caused major damage to the crops. 

Wildfires continue to burn in Siberia due to the dry conditions. 

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