"This year we are expecting the best grain harvest in modern Russian history, about 115 million tonnes. Our country has taken a leading position in the world in the export of wheat… In short, the Russian agriculture is on the rise, and the state will continue to provide a broad support for the industry, to those who want to work on the land and succeed," Putin said.
"I am confident that our manufacturers not only can fully satisfy nationals demand in food, we have a potential to make Russia one of the largest food producers in the world," the president added.
In September, the Russian government said it decided to lift export duties on wheat that were imposed in 2015 to stabilize the situation on the internal grain market.
Since then, prices for Russian wheat declined and the country has been boosting its exports. In late September, Russia resumed export to Egypt after Egyptian authorities lifted general public health-related import restrictions. The agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor has also spoken of interest in supplying wheat to Thailand and boosting exports to Indonesia and Iraq.
In 2015-2016, Russia exported record-breaking 33,893 million tonnes of grain, including 24,604 tonnes of wheat, surpassing the United States and Canada. Grain exports for 2016-2017 may rise further to 40 million tonnes, according to the Russian Agriculture Ministry.
With Europe's upcoming harvest forecasts slashed, Russia is likely to become the top world exporter of wheat for the first time in 2017.