Alexey Ivanov for "RG": For Private Breeding to Work in Russia, We Need to Provide Companies with a Return on Investment

Agriculture and Food
Alexey Ivanov for
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Alexey Ivanov, Director of the BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, commented to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper on the plans of the Ministry of Agriculture to introduce quotas on seed imports.

According to the results of the year, the share of domestic seeds in the Russian market will decrease by 5% and amount to 60%, said First Deputy Minister of Agriculture Oksana Luth at the parliamentary hearings in the State Duma. At the same time it is stated in the Food Security Doctrine that the Russian Federation should have 75% of its own seeds.

"For us this situation is unacceptable. This is a hundred percent risk that tomorrow any of these companies will not be allowed to carry seeds or it will be impossible to import them. And you and I will be left without seeds," 

said the First Deputy Minister. So, the Ministry of Agriculture is now forming a quota plan for imports of seeds by year, involving a gradual reduction of imports and an increase of own seeding of all critical crops. 

Restrictive administrative measures for a long time usually show negative results, and they should not be abused, says Alexey Ivanov, Research Director of the Centre for Technology Transfer at the National Research University Higher School of Economics and Director of the International BRICS Competition Law and Policy Centre of the National Research University Higher School of Economics. He mentions that we have already had unsuccessful examples of the use of quotas, for example, in the automobile industry — it did not lead to improvement of Russian cars.

"If we are trying to help Russian farmers use Russian seeds more, we need to introduce support measures, not to close or limit the market. And now we want to avoid stress on the market by creating stress artificially," 

says the expert. To remedy the situation, we need to create a full-fledged private breeding in the country, Ivanov said. Commercialization has already proved its efficiency in the agroindustrial complex, resulting in considerable growth of labor productivity, and Russia has turned from a net importer into a net exporter of agricultural products. And for private breeding to work in Russia, companies need to ensure a return on investment and receive royalties for their intellectual property.

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