Russia expects record grain harvest in 2017: Putin

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Moscow, Oct 8: Russia expects a record-high grain harvest this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday in a congratulatory message to agro-industry workers on the Agriculture and Processing Industry Workers' Day, according to the Kremlin. "Today agriculture, the agro-industrial complex as a whole is one of the most rapidly developing branches of our economy. This year we expect a record-high grain harvest of around 130 million tons, and this has been achieved despite unfavorable weather conditions," Putin said, Xinhua reported. The President noted that Russia has reaffirmed its status as the world's leading producer and exporter of grain, adding that positive trends are seen regarding the output of pork, poultry, oil-bearing crops, sugar beet, fruit and vegetables. Speaking highly of the efficient measures taken to boost the agro-industry, Putin said Russia will continue to develop organic products and deep processing as well as strengthening its positions in global markets. He also said that improving living standards in rural areas remains the country's priority. "It means strengthening the social sphere, renovating schools, health clinics, cultural centers, building roads and developing rural territories," Putin said. Starting in 1999, the Agriculture and Processing Industry Workers' Day is an official professional holiday in Russia and is marked annually on the second Sunday of October.

IANS