A public hearing entitled Large Harvest - Large Problems will take place at the Congress Centre of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia today. According to the Chamber's press service, the hearing is organised by the Chamber's Committee on Agricultural Entrepreneurship, the Association of Agricultural Branch Unions, and Russia's Grain Union.
Sergei Katyrin, Vice-President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said this year's grain harvest would be in excess of 85 million tonnes, which is far more than can be consumed domestically. This mey boost economic growth not only in agriculture but also in related industries.
Anatoly Mikhalyov, the secretary-in-state of the Minister of Agriculture of Russia, said the country's lack of preparedness to handle a grain harvest this large could result in the lost of all advantages it otherwise would produce. Sale problems arose even before the harvest was barned away. Producers say that the drop of prices that precedes harvesting is no longer seasonal but rather a long-term phenomenon. Mr. Mikhalyov said the reason to think so was 'a discrepancy existing between internal consumption level and the masses of goods, which continue piling up while the grain is being harvested'.
Mr. Mikhalyov also said the last year's grain exports amounted to 5 million tonnes. This year, negotiations as to the sale of Russia's grain were held with the government of Canada.
The participants of the hearing will pass to the federal and regional governments their recommendations as to enhancing the situation on grain market.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969