Russia’s deputy PM offers creation of ‘grain OPEC’

11 November 20192 min reading

Aleksey Gordeyev, Russian Deputy Prime Minister in charge of agriculture, has proposed the creation of a grain organisation along the lines of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The “grain OPEC” might include Russia, the European Union, the United States, Canada, and Argentina, among others, Gordeyev said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksey Gordeyev has suggested creating an organization of grain exporters similar to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The offer to create an OPEC-type organization for grain exporters aims to ensure “the stability of the grain market, coordinate grain prices, and solve the problem of world hunger,” according to a statement from Gordeyev’s press service. The idea was raised during Gordeyev’s meeting with German Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klockner and Minister-President of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet. They met on the sidelines of ANUGA-2019, the international trade fair for food and beverages, in Cologne. According to Gordeyev, the future organization could “include Russia, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Argentina, [and] other nations.” Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Gordeyev is a veteran of the Russian farm sector who has periodically lobbied for the creation of a “grain OPEC” in previous years. He was agriculture minister for 10 years until 2009. His remarks in Cologne are the first time he has returned to the idea in public since he came back to the government in 2018. Russian agricultural production has surged by 20 percent over the past five years. Grain harvests are projected to grow by five percent this year to 118 million tons, including around 78 million tons of wheat. Russia has managed to capture more than half of the global wheat market in recent years, becoming the world’s biggest exporter of grain, thanks to bumper harvests and attractive pricing. Since the early 2000s, Moscow’s share of the global wheat market has quadrupled. President Vladimir Putin said recently that the country has ensured its independence on the global wheat market. Russia’s enormous natural resources should serve as a guarantee for high-quality food production and should be used specifically to increase the production of organic, non-GMO food products, Putin said. The president predicted Russia’s agriculture exports will double by 2024 to reach $45 billion.

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