As President Vladimir Putin attended a government session, Agriculture Minister Alexey Gordeev reported about the virtual completion of a harvesting campaign and that the forecast complied with the facts.
"Work to secure a 2004 harvest is already underway; 24.5 million hectares have already been cultivated," said the minister. He promised to provide detailed estimates by December 1, 2003, saying that there is the strong assumption that the next harvest is to be not worse than the current one.
Dealing with husbandry problems, Gordeev said that due to the quotas introduced, Russian live-stock breeders have notably increased meat production.
"What is required from the government is to adjust customs tariff regulations on meat and sugar imports," urged Gordeev.
He noted that the agriculture ministry in association with the ministry for economic development and trade have worked out decisions on establishing a system to regulate the import of meat and raw sugar with account of conditions on the domestic market.