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    RUSSIAN AGRICULTURE PRODUCTIVITY INCREASED BY 1.5% IN 2003

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    MOSCOW, February 5, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Last year the volume of Russian agriculture production was estimated at 1.134 trillion rubles (approximately $39.8 bln) and grew in comparison with 2002 by 1.5%, the Russian State Statistics Committee disclosed. The figure embraces production of all agriculture sectors, including farms and private production.

    According to the preliminary data, the overall harvest of grain in Russia was estimated at 67.2 mln metric tons (the after-processing weight), which is 22.6% less in comparison with 2002. According to the State Statistics Committee it happened due to the dorp of the grain yield and to the 14.6% decrease of the harvested areas.

    Meanwhile, the overall harvest of the main industrial crops - potato, sugar-beet, sunflower seeds and vegetables - increased. There is no exact figures given so far.

    The main producers of grain and industrial crops are still agricultural organizations, however their share decreased, for instance in production of grain down to 84.2% against 86.9% in 2002. Private farming economies' share in the overall grain harvest was estimated at 14.4%, which is higher in comparison with 2002.

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