Russia to harvest 65-60 tonnes of grain in 2010: Putin

Russia can harvest 65-60 million tonnes of grain in 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said, citing the Agriculture Ministry`s forecast.

Updated: Aug 10, 2010, 16:55 PM IST

Moscow: Russia can harvest 65-60
million tonnes of grain in 2010, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
said, citing the Agriculture Ministry`s forecast.

According to the pessimistic scenario of 60 million
tonnes, this will be enough to meet all of the internal needs,
Putin said.

"We have 9.5 million tonnes in the Intervention Fund and
21 million tonnes have been carried out over from last year,"
he said yesterday.

"We will need 78 million tonnes of grain" this year, Putin
added.

He said it was important to "understand what the country
will be left with in 2011."

"We do not know how big the crop will be and how much will
be carried over in 2011," Putin said. He asked the Agriculture
Ministry to make a decision on the use of grain from the
Intervention Fund.

"This must be done timely," he added.
He instructed First Vice Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov to
oversee the process.

Zubkov has pledged there would be no internal grain
problems despite the drought. The country has grain reserves
of 24 million tons, including 9.5 million tons in the
interventions fund.

Moreover, more than 5 million tonnes of grain have
already been harvested, he said and added that Russia would
not lose its positions as grain exporter either.

PTI