President Vladimir Putin believes that if the current tendencies in agriculture are preserved, Russia will be able to take a worthy place in the world as food exporter. Speaking in a live ORT and RTR broadcast, the President reported that the growth of agricultural produce in the country made up six percent -- higher than in industry. He also pointed to the "very good growth rate in grain crop harvesting". Three years ago 48 million tons of grain crops were harvested, two years ago -- 55 million tons, last year -- 64.5 million tons and this year 83.7 million tons. The head of the Russian state also pointed out that according to preliminary data, the biggest harvest was gathered from a hectare in Russian history. An export potential amounting to approximately five million tons was received in 2001 for the first time in many years, the president stressed. "If we continue working this way, I am sure that Russia will be able to take its worthy place in the world as a food exporter," Vladimir Putin said. Touching upon the Russian plans to enter the World Trade Organisation, he pointed out that admission to the WTO will not hamper by may even help to break through to the food market. Putin pointed out that the high results achieved in agriculture are explained not only by good weather conditions but also by better thought-out policy of the government. This was expressed in several decisions of the administrative nature, in timely supplying fuel and lubricants to rural areas during the sowing and harvesting seasons and, what is most important, easing the access to credit resources," the President stressed.
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