In 2020, Russian Agricultural Bank (RusAg, the Bank) allocated over RUB 260 billion to support small and medium-sized agribusiness companies, which is 44% higher than in the previous year. At the same time, the Bank issued RUB 92 billion to small farms at a preferential rate of no more than 5% in accordance with the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1528.
“2020 has become a tough test for the entire Russian economy, and one of the Bank’s strategic objectives was to provide timely support to its core business segment – agribusiness. We paid special attention to farmers, whose funding has been significantly increased. At the same time, we actively helped those industries that were most affected by the pandemic,” Irina Zhachkina, First Deputy Chairman of the Board at RusAg, said.
In addition to issuing preferential loans in accordance with the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1528, the Bank also issued:
• RUB 15 billion of concessional credit funds in accordance with the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1764;
• RUB 3 billion for ‘anti- pandemic’ support of entrepreneurship and preservation of employment in the affected industries, using 100% of the state-allocated limit;
• over RUB 1 billion – on preferential terms to members of the Russian Association of rural and farm enterprises and agricultural cooperatives (AKKOR);
• over RUB 300 million – начина to novice farmers, members of family farms and agricultural cooperatives.
The support allowed Russians from various regions, despite the restrictions associated with the pandemic, not only to continue and develop their activities in the public interest, but also to become farmers. For example,
• in the Sverdlovsk Region, the Bank issued RUB 45 million under Resolution No. 1528 to Novy Put LLC, which went to build a cowshed for almost 200 places;
• in Bashkortostan, RUB 900 thousands of the Bank’s funds allowed Gafuan Shaikhutdinov, the winner of the Agrostartup-2020 competition, to create a farm from scratch: to purchase Aberdeen Angus heifers, a tractor, a baler and other equipment.
“The Bank has thousands of such examples, but we are moving beyond what has already been achieved, and this year we continue to actively support farmers in all regions of the Bank’s presence,” added Irina Zhachkina.
In 2020, the anniversary year for RusAg, new ones were added to the classic forms of financial support to agribusiness. Among them is the unique digital ecosystem for farmers "Svoe Fermerstvo" and the all-Russian educational project “Farmer’s School”.
"Svoe Fermerstvo" is a growing system of digital services, for example, TV veterinary medicine, field monitoring, portals for recruiting personnel and buying seeds, which allow developing the farm using new technologies and transferring routine processes to automatic mode, as well as attracting new partners to the development of the farm. A separate branch of the ecosystem is the B2C marketplace “Svoe Rodnoe”, where farmers can sell their products and offer agritourism services without intermediaries, thus expanding the customer base, distribution channels and increasing income from activities.
Farmer Ivan Kharchenko was one of the first to use the platform in the Novosibirsk Region. In November, he won the regional stage of the Business Success national award in the Best Agricultural Project nomination. The entrepreneur, together with his wife, develops agritourism in the Kolyvan region, and also processes poultry meat.
“The platform seemed to me a very promising and necessary project. It is often difficult for many farmers to find clients, but here everything is quite simple, you can talk about your services, submit terms and conditions and find new guests. Since we have our own processing, I think the services will also help in the sale of products,” says Ivan Kharchenko.
The “Farmer's School” project allows you to learn how to run a successful agribusiness from scratch or improve the qualifications of existing farmers. In September, the project was launched in the Stavropol Territory, Bashkortostan, Moscow and Novosibirsk regions. In 2021, the “Farmer's School” is introducing an online learning format and expanding its geography to include new regions.
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