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Italian techniques for Russian apple cultivation

Inspection services in Moscow conduct checks at fairs and markets

Several trade negotiations between Russia and its neighbouring countries are progressing steadily. The agreement with Tajikistan only has to be signed and Armenia has collected several proposals from traders. Azerbaijan's exports also grew by 27% in the first half of 2014. Some Russian regions are looking for ways to increase production, such as the strawberry growers in Belgorod, or the apple producers in Ingushetia, who are introducing Italian growing techniques. In the Netherlands, 15 companies have applied for reductions in working hours. Companies affected by the boycott may temporarily lay off workers with the government paying off their salaries. 

In Eastern Ukraine, there is a huge amount of ammunition, mines and grenades in the fields. Separatists are trying to track down the unexploded bombs to detonate them in safe places. The explosives are causing many civilian casualties. According to military experts, it will take years before the whole area is cleaned up. 

15 Dutch companies demand shorter working hours 
As a result of the Russian boycott, 15 companies have applied for a reduction in working hours, as announced by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. In total, these companies account for 96 jobs, with 4 of them active in the agricultural sector, 7 in trade and 2 in the transport sector. Four applications from trade and transport have been granted; the others are still pending approval. Several exporters in the Netherlands are working on a reorganisation of the sales department for Russia. 

USA wants Polish fruit and vegetable 
During a meeting between Poland and the United States, one of the topics discussed was the export of fruit and vegetables. The United States is working with Poland to re-orient Polish fruit and vegetable exports to the U.S. In 2013, Polish exports grew by 34% to an amount of 10 million dollars. Over the past 25 years, the United States has invested $ 30 billion in Poland.

Moscow begins inspections 
The inspection services in Moscow are conducting checks at fairs and markets in the region. Inspectors control trading platforms in Moscow to ensure no violations of safety standards are made. The inspections have intensified since the ban on the import of some foreign products was established. Both the quality of products and market conditions are being assessed.

India presents sector in Moscow 
The Indian representation at the Moscow World Food and Beverage Exhibition this year did not just consist of tea exporters. Fruit and vegetable exporters also travelled to Moscow seeking contacts with Russian traders. Since the introduction of the boycott, Indian traders see opportunities in Russia. In turn, Russia sends inspectors to Indian food companies. Both countries see much potential in trade. 

Small growers to work together 
Growers in the Belgorod region will work together to increase their sales. Especially for the smaller growers, this is a way to increase production. Nearby the village Lesnoye Ukolovo, close to the border with Ukraine, nine growers have joined to increase their strawberry production. This will give the village a total of 20 hectares. Experts assist the growers throughout the entire process from cultivation to marketing. Each could grow around six tonnes of strawberries. The fruit used to be imported from Poland and Ukraine. In the winter months, the United States, Spain and Israel have traditionally been the main suppliers.

Russia buys Ukrainian carrots and onions 
According to APK-Inform, Russian importers have shown their interest in Ukrainian onions. Demand is still not large, and both parties are not yet satisfied. Importers complain about the quality and exporters find that the onions bring too little revenue. Export prices are around $ 0.08 to 0.09 per kilo, the highest retail prices in Russia are between 0.27 to 0.29 dollars per kilo. A large part of the Ukrainian growers refuse to sell if the price stays below 10 cents.
In August, Ukraine was the second largest carrot exporter to Russia. Traditionally, exports begin in November. According to experts, shipments started early due to the boycott. The EU last year supplied 40% of Russia's carrot imports. 

Ingushetia growing apples with Italian techniques
The republic of Ingushetia, on the border with Georgia, is investing in apple production. The company Bratsevskoye was founded last year and is setting up orchards using Italian techniques. According to its plans, Ingushetia is to develop into a major apple growing area able to supply ​​the region and central Russia. The first harvest of the 120 ha orchard has already been carried out. The acreage is planned to expand to 1,000 ha, with an expected yield of 10MT per hectare.

Negotiations trade agreement in final stages 
Negotiations between Tajikistan and Russia on a trade agreement are in the final stages. The agreement is ready to be signed and will provide Tajikistan an opportunity to increase its fruit and vegetable exports to Russia. Tajikistan is already a supplier and expects demand to continue growing. The government has high hopes for its onion exports, and according to experts, the former Soviet republic has a lot of potential in this sense. In the first half of this year, the country exported 100,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables with a value of $ 50 million; an increase of 14% compared to the first half of 2013.

Armenia negotiating 
Negotiations with the Armenian Government are still in full swing. The Armenian minister announced that proposals from interested companies have been collected and are under study. The issue is already on the agenda since 15 August.

Polish onion prices drop
Data by Fruit-Inform reveals that Polish onion prices have dropped by 11-13% compared to last week. The price stands between 7 and 9 cents per kilo. Compared to the same period last year, prices are 40% lower. The main cause for this is oversupply, after a 4% acreage expansion. The Russian boycott has no direct impact, as exports to Russia normally start in January.

Azerbaijan exports grew 
In the first half of this year, Azerbaijan's exports grew by 27% compared to last year. The share of fruit and vegetables in the beginning of September was of 0.96%, or 15.3 million dollars. A month earlier, it stood at 1.03%.
The import of fruits and vegetables decreased compared to the previous year by 18.83% to a total of $ 16.6 million. Of all imports, fruit and vegetables represent a share of 0.3%.