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Russia Eyes 2035 Grain Crop Boom With $70 Billion Investment Plan

Russia Eyes 2035 Grain Crop Boom With $70 Billion Investment Plan

The Agriculture Ministry said on Tuesday it saw Russia’s grain crop rising as high as 150.3 million metric tons by 2035 in an “optimistic scenario” as it outlined a draft strategy to invest billions of dollars in grain infrastructure and logistics.

The 2035 strategy, which has been sent to the government for discussion, would cost more than 4.4 trillion rubles ($70 billion) in funds drawn from private investors, loans and government financing, the ministry said in a statement.

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The proposal to ramp up investment in the sector comes as state-controlled VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank, has been buying grain export infrastructure assets.

Russian grain supplies could play a key role in President Vladimir Putin’s plan, announced a year ago, to increase the country’s exports of agricultural products to $45 billion by 2024. The Agriculture Ministry is in charge of that initiative.

Russia would produce 140 million metric tons of grain annually by 2035 in the draft strategy’s base-case scenario, while exporting 55.9 million metric tons, the ministry said.

In an optimistic scenario, the crop could rise to 150.3 million metric tons with exports totalling 63.6 million metric tons, it said, considerably higher than forecasts for this year.