No grain underharvest this year

President Putin is certain that this year's grain harvest will be enough to meet domestic needs.

"There will be no underharvest, we shall fully content internal demand though exports will perhaps go slightly down," he said meeting in his Altai's Belokurikha residence with Altai governor Alexandre Surikov.

The president asked the governor about his region's progress in the harvesting campaign and cited the recent Kremlin conference on this problem in Central Russia where delays amount to three-four weeks.

The governors of Russian central regions are certain nevertheless that there will be a bumper crop, added Putin.

Surikov promised that this year Altai's harvesting campaign would be as successful as last year, the more so as there is a favourable weather forecast for the end of August and the beginning of September. Altai plans to harvest four million tons of grain while the yiled of barley, sunflower and fodder will be higher than last year.

Asked by the president about measures taken to protect national farmers, Surikov mentioned positive impact of such decisions as subsidising national farmers as well as the efficiency of the agricultural machinery leasing system.

According to the governor, the recent six months have seen the eight-percent industrial growth rate in the region. Surikov expressed confidence that this year will end with this figure standing at 10 percent.

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