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    AFTER-TREATMENT GRAIN HARVEST WEIGHT TO STAND AT 75 MILLION TONS THIS YEAR

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    MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Agriculture Minister Alexey Gordeev has said that the weather conditions enable him to forecast this year's after-treatment grain harvest weight at 75 million tons. This figure is to be specified at the end of May after a spring harvesting campaign is over.

    The government plans this August to begin new purchasing interventions in the grain market, that have been staged since 2001. The contribution to the intervention fund last year amounted to 1, 558,000 tons of wheat and rye. As commodity interventions are under way, the government has already sold from this fund more than two thirds of the said reserve. The returns of some 7 billion roubles (about $246 million) will be spent on purchasing grain to contribute to this year's intervention fund.

    The introduction of the mechanism of government purchasing and commodity interventions was targeted at ensuring grain producers' relatively stable income and at minimising the bread price-rise. On the whole, the interventions have lived up to these targets, claims the agriculture minister.

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