A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 160 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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Russia and Its Role in Global Food Security
3 June 2021
09:00—10:15
KEY CONCLUSIONS
Russia has the potential to feed the world

Russia’s population is 2% of the world’s population, while the country has 8% of the world’s water resources and farmland – this is a very good ratio. This is the country with the most balanced ratio. <…> It gives us a great opportunity to produce meat here — Rafael Fuertes Quintanilla, Chairman, Grupo Corporativo Fuertes, S.L..

We can say that we are creating a minimal pressure on the environment. Pig population in Denmark is roughly 13 million head. Russia has 26 [million head, – Ed.], which is twice as much. But we do realize that Russia is much bigger in size. Today, China is already building eight-story pig farms en masse. This cannot be good for the environment. China’s pig population is 300 million head — Sergey Mikhailov, General Director, Chairman of the Executive Board, Cherkizovo Group .

We can compete with any country in the world in terms of cost, except from New Zealand and Ireland. However, these two islands are simply not big enough to feed the whole world — Stefan Duerr, General Director, EkoNiva-APK Holding.

Food production and export are on the rise in Russia

We are among the pillars of global food security, with our input being important on a global scale. Over the last six years, our export volumes gained almost 90% and over USD 14 billion. Our key markets are South East Asia, China, African countries, and the Persian Gulf states. In other words, these are the countries where consumers mostly depend on food imports. <…> Our President assigned us with increasing food export by 70% <...> by 2030. I would like to make a note that these numbers refer to comparable prices, so basically they mean by volume — Sergey Levin, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation .

Russia used to be among the biggest meat exporters. <…> As of today, we have enough for ourselves, so we are starting to export. Russia now produces 11.5 tonnes of meat, which accounts for 3% of global meat production volumes — Sergey Mikhailov, General Director, Chairman of the Executive Board, Cherkizovo Group .

Global climate change

Climate change results in some crops being grown further up in the north. All recent climate forecasts <…> show precipitation enhancement in the north and a decrease in precipitation in South Europe for example. Russia can use its unique geography as an advantage alongside its agricultural and climate aspects. <…> We do have a solid foundation for further production development, which is roughly 13 million hectares of farmland that is not used at the moment — Sergey Levin, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation .

Food support mechanisms help minimize interference with the markets

Over USD 100 [per person, – Ed.] is allocated monthly [in the USA, – Ed.], which one can use to buy groceries, except for alcohol. <…> When recession and economic slowdown starts, this programme helps support the economy and mitigate the consequences of price shocks — Conrad Lyford, Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Texas Tech University.

If we look at the USA, they account for 50% of soy production. If they panicked, chose to impose limitations on the market and kept the soy for some reasons, it would be a global disaster — Sergey Mikhailov, General Director, Chairman of the Executive Board, Cherkizovo Group .

ISSUES
Interrupted food supplies on a global scale. Threat of famine and malnutrition

The planet’s population is growing. <…> Here is a simple example: we are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are underestimating its impact on global food security. According to FAO, before the pandemic about 700 million people suffered from malnutrition and famine. Preliminary estimate shows that this number will go up 20% or 130 million people — Sergey Levin, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation .

Stock market instruments are underdeveloped in Russia

This is a curious situation. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and third biggest grain exporter. At the same time, we do have a fine stock exchange. Instruments in this market are not functioning. There is no demand. <…> This market was shaped in such a way that it historically had many intermediaries that do not need a stock exchange. So, what is a stock exchange? This is the fairest, most transparent and economically feasible price. A margin this high will not be possible there — Ksenia Bolomatova, Deputy Director General, United Grain Company.

SOLUTIONS
Creating mechanisms to support export

According to the presidential decree, we started placing our agricultural attaches around the world – in about 50 countries. We plan to have more than 50 attaches, as in China, for example we will have three representatives. This is a full-time institute to support and promote our agricultural produce in international markets. We need to create a knowledge and competence system for international markets and for promoting our produce in international markets. <…> Entering markets in Central Africa or Asian countries would require a lot of effort from an aspiring exporter from a remote Russian region. You need to lead them by the hand. This is exactly why we have created and are still creating support and promotion institutes — Sergey Levin, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation .

Last year, we tested digital e-auctions at an e-platform instead of a stock exchange. We held them between December and March, and they enjoyed an unbelievably high demand. Liquidity of 100%, and all auctions resulted in transactions for 100% of the volume. We purchased 126 thousand tonnes for RUB 2.3 billion. After that we realized it was what we needed. We should get to a whole new level, i.e. stock exchange. Today, the United Grain Company and Moscow Stock Exchange will sign an agreement at the Forum venue. This agreement will cover developing this instrument and launching e-auctions — Ksenia Bolomatova, Deputy Director General, United Grain Company.

Launching targeted programmes to help people

We want <…> to be a global player in the export market. We boast export roughly worth USD 1 billion. <…> Export volumes can reach dozens of billions of dollars. In this case, it will have a significant impact on the domestic market. The programme of targeted social aid can potentially lead to less regulation in export markets. <…> With a programme like this, the government can minimize its interference with markets, as most people in need of food will be protected by such programmes — Sergey Mikhailov, General Director, Chairman of the Executive Board, Cherkizovo Group .