RUSSIA - The Russian aquaculture sector is to receive a cash injection of 260 million roubles up to 2017 to support scientific development.
The new money comes as part of a general reorganisation of the aquaculture industry in Russia and follows a meeting of the Russian government, ministry of agriculture and the fisheries’ agency Rosrybolovstvo last week.
The reorganisation of the industry will see more powers devolved to the regions and the inland water bodies.
The meeting heard that over the last two years the fisheries’ agency has been overseeing the implementation of new laws for a new legal framework for the sector.
The new powers cover the delimitation of aquaculture sites and the organisation of auctions for the rights for hatchery sites as well as monitoring the implementation of these agreements.
Rosrybolostvo said that this will allow the regions to facilitate the development of aquaculture.
The new regulations also cover water licences and contracts and land contracts.
The head of the fisheries’ agency, Ilya Shestakov, said that many of the regions had not yet establish a regional aquaculture programme for the development of marketable products and he called on them to speed up the process.
However, the regional authorities said that they had encountered problems over the protection of property rights and the expansion of the composition of species in aquaculture farms and well as the use of intensive technology and concerns over the epizootic risks.
There were further concerns over the way the new regulations were being implemented to integrate the water bodies into the programme and the way state support for insurance and the expansion of work in the fields of selection and breeding was being put in place
To ensure the new laws are implemented smoothly, the ministry of agriculture and the fisheries’ agency said that the moves would be supported by subsidised short-term and long-term loans – a move that had been started in 2015.
"Today, companies are showing an active interest in this state instrument.
“However, there are problems with the borrowing of funds. Banks are reluctant to make loans to the sector,” said Mr Shestakov.
He said the lack of interest from the banks was because of concern over a lack of activity in the sector and fears of poor returns.
He said that Rosrybolovstvo had held a number of meetings with representatives of financial and credit institutions to develop more flexible lending to commercial farms.
Already, this year eight projects worth 4.2 billion roubles have been allocated subsidies of about 200 million roubles.
Mr Shestakov said that it was also necessary to look at other ways of attracting new credit resources into the aquaculture sector.
He added that 260 million roubles will be made available to the sector, 30 million or 13 per cent more than in 2015 to support the research institutes.
The fisheries’ agency is backing research across the aquaculture sector and in fish feed production as well as providing scientific support to new aquaculture projects
"The resumption of targeted funding in the field of aquaculture research will create a qualitatively new scientific base to sustained growth in the production of fishery products,” said Mr Shestakov.
“Today, we are working together with the industry and the business community on the realisation trends and the expansion of research in this area.”