Natalia Shagaida, Head of the Agricultural Policy Department, Gaidar Institute told theNezavisimaya Gazeta daily about the expediency of food subsidies. 
Research carried out by the Romir holding points to the fact that despite high self-sufficiency ratios Russia has failed so far to solve the problem of milk, fish and fruits malnutrition experienced by most people. At the same time, relevant agencies report that the country’s self-sufficiency levels as regards milk and vegetables are equal to over 80% with the target level of 90%, while as regards fish, to about 153% with the target of 85%. Perhaps, only fruits fall out of the list of high ratios.
However, malnutrition, as defined by the norms of the RF Ministry of Healthcare, is confirmed by Rosstat, as well. Specifically, according to Rosstat, there is no longer critical shortfall as regards fish.  The most striking spread of Rosstat’s estimates concerns meat: by some estimates, the Russians consume 76 kg of meat per person a year, while by others, 92 kg (with the norm of 73 kg). 
By expert estimations presented by Natalia Shagaida, if the achievement of a balanced nutrition package in value terms is meant, in 2020 the average value of the actual nutrition package varied fr om 66% (the low-income group) to 114% (high-income group) of the recommended norm.   
“In terms of food security, it is important to make it feasible for families to have money to buy a nutrition package in accordance with the recommended norm and only after that and by means of other mechanisms the purchasing of food products recommended by experts should be facilitated. We should seek to achieve self-sufficiency wh ere domestic products cost less than imported ones,” Natalia Shagaida says. 
Further, the expert noted that it would be worthwhile to consider the option of food subsidies for the population, primarily, low-income people.
“Yes, it is expedient to raise the issue of food aid to families via subsidizing their purchasing of food products,” Natalia Shagaida believes. Another important factor is to make it feasible for families to earn more money in future, that is, “to give them a fishing rod and not fish alone”, Natalia Shagaida explains.