Natalia Shagaida, Head of the Agrarian Department at the Gaidar Institute, commented to Nezavisimaya gazeta on the initiative of RF government to launch the program of state support on the establishment and development of agro-biotech parks.

Russia is launching a program of state support for the establishment and development of agro-biotechnoparks, which will allow the introduction of technology in the agricultural sector and increase the level of agricultural production. In 2023, more than Rb1.5 bn will be allocated from the federal budget for grants aimed to build-up the necessary infrastructure for agro-biotech parks. As stated, state support will be allocated for the design and modernization of industrial and technological infrastructure facilities, integrated equipment, scientific research and experimental developments in the area of biotechnology.

Despite positive developments in the area of import substitution, the dependence of agriculture on imports persists. As a result of anti-Russian sanctions, the problem of importing spare parts for agricultural machinery as well as equipment for primary and advanced processing of agricultural products, certain types of plant protection products, feed additives, and veterinary drugs became more acute. The new government trend to create and develop agro-industrial technological parks will be aimed at improving their own modern technology, which is essential for the development of agriculture in Russia.

“Machinery, equipment, seeds, protections were not considered as separate products, but were incorporated into technology; the country applied all innovations,” said Natalia Shagaida. Supporting researchers and designers is fine. However, agriculture involves a lot of machinery, protections, seeds, equipment, and it would be very brave to assume that success of import substitution can be achieved for all these countless items!”