The total volume of agricultural production grew by 5% this year compared to that of 2000, and the food industry output increased by 8%. According to the latest data given to RBC by the Agriculture Ministry, the volume of the grain harvest reached 83.7 million tons this year, exceeding the corresponding figure for 2000 (65.4 million tons) by 30%. The productivity level in 2000 was record in the history of Russia, having reached 18.7 centners per hectare. Accordingly, the record of 1990, when the average productivity level reached 18.5 centners per hectare, has been broken. Experts of the ministry believe that among other reasons, this bumper harvest is due to the extension of sown area by 2 million hectares, which happened for the first time in the past 8 years. The grain balance, including the food wheat balance, fully fulfills the local demand and allows for exporting about 5 million tons of grain. The grain harvest of 2002 is also expected to be quite good.
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