"In recent year agriculture [sector] has shown remarkable growth… Agricultural output grew by 20 percent in five years. Agriculture has turned into a hi-tech industry and established itself as a driver of the Russian economy. Last year alone there was a record grain harvest: 135 million tonnes," Putin said as quoted in a statement published on the Kremlin website.
In May, Putin issued a decree outlining the Russian national goals and strategic targets for the period until 2024. Among other tasks, he required the Russian government to increase non-primary non-energy goods exports to $250 billion per year by 2024, while agricultural exports should be brought to $45 billion by 2024.
Russian First Deputy Agriculture Minister Dzhambulat Khatuov said Thursday that Russia has to increase its annual grain production level to at least 137.5 million tonnes in order to implement Russian President Vladimir Putin's decree issued in May.
The Russian Agriculture Ministry expects the grain harvest in Russia to fall to about 106 million tonnes in 2018 due to unfavorable weather conditions. In 2017, Russia enjoyed a record-high harvest of 135.4 million tonnes, which was an almost 15 million tonnes increase year-on-year.