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Why Trans-Baikal Landowners in Canada
Russian agricultural producers have found a region with similar conditions and prospects for cooperation
Regions of the Far East and Eastern Siberia are striving to establish new foreign economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region and expand the forms of international partnership. This is especially true of the agro-industrial sector, which is experiencing a period of active development. One of the most promising partners is Canada, which is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of a number of agricultural products - cereals and oilseeds, meat and meat products, and dairy products. At the same time, Canadian products are competitive in international markets, since at moderate enough costs for production, it is of high quality. What prospects for cooperation with Canada open similar climatic conditions to Transbaikalia, EastRussia found out.
Participants of the delegation held talks with Huron Commodities Inc. (Ingersoll, Ontario) in the field of promotion of agro-industrial technologies and supply of agricultural crops. In Huron Commodities expressed interest in the supply of rapeseed, oats and flax to customers in Asia, noting the geographic advantage of the Trans-Baikal Territory and its developing export infrastructure. In addition, Russian agricultural producers are considering the possibility of acquiring the Huron Commodities developed technologies for growing soybean seeds. The rights to distribute seeds in Russia belong to EkoNiva company (Voronezh region), but Huron Commodities is constantly developing new kinds of seeds and can sell seeds directly to companies in those Russian regions where EkoNiva is not represented.
During the meeting with Comtois Networks, representatives of Komsomolets agreed on the purchase of the genetic material from the company and about further technological support of the process of using the purchased raw materials. In addition, the parties discussed the possibility of acquiring new breeds in Comtois Networks, which should help improve the genetics of the Trans-Baikal livestock.
Another useful meeting in terms of acquaintance with Canadian scientific developments in the field of plant growing was the visit to the Ministry of Agriculture of Canada, the research center Harrow Research and Development Center (Ontario), engaged in the study and experimental breeding of new types of crops. Here delegates were given the opportunity to get acquainted with the Canadian technologies for increasing the yield of canola (rape) and bivalve soybeans developed by Dr. Eric Page and with the experience of studying the effect of chemical fertilizers. The received information and further cooperation with the Canadian Center will allow domestic agricultural producers to achieve the most effective application of fertilizers in their farms.
Particularly productive for Transbaikalians was the visit to the province of Manitoba, which differs from the Baikal region in similar climatic conditions. In particular, the period of growing crops in Manitoba fully coincides with the Trans-Baikal period. During the visit to the Kelburn farm, members of the delegation got acquainted with various practices used to adapt and grow legumes, soybeans, rapeseed and wheat in this Canadian region, taking into account its characteristics. An important outcome of the meeting was the discussion of the possibility of arranging visits of Canadian experts to the Russian region. Soon, the Trans-Baikal Territory will be able to visit expert agronomist Brian Hallegares to analyze the technologies used and identify the most effective among them.
A visit to the grain institute under the Canadian Grain Commission allowed the delegation to receive information on the quality standards of Canadian grain. "Komsomolets" intends to send grain to the Institute for carrying out an independent examination of seeds and passing the certification procedure necessary for export deliveries. A visit to the enterprise of Buhler Industries equipment manufacturers, which is actively used in Transbaikalia, allowed discussing a number of problematic issues related to the operation of Versatile brand cars in Eastern Siberia.
The plant-growing technologist at the Komsomolets Breeding Plant JSC Sergei Lishtaev estimates the visit to Canada as very productive. He notes that selection has been well established in the country, research on chemical plant protection is being carried out at a high level, high-quality equipment is being developed and highly qualified specialists are being trained in the agricultural sector, which are in high demand on the labor market.
A major role in Canada is played by the support of agriculture by the state, which was also especially noted by the Russian delegates. The agricultural sector of the Canadian economy is characterized by the highest level of state subsidies among other sectors. Nevertheless, the invested funds pay off in the long term - thanks to the growing incomes of farmers from commercial activities (in 2017, they exceeded 59 billion Canadian dollars), the level of direct government assistance in recent years has been steadily declining. According to Maxim Kravtsov, deputy minister of international cooperation and foreign economic relations of the Trans-Baikal Territory, the competent policy of the provincial authorities to support local agricultural producers deserves special attention on the part of the government of the Russian regions. "In fact, developing this direction, we have the prospect of becoming a pilot subject of the Russian Federation to develop Russian-Canadian interregional cooperation," the official said.