I do not fully understand why everyone is burying our agriculture in the wake of the news of the accession to the WTO. For the time being, this panic is based on myths and rumors, but no one has fully imagined how it will be in reality. Personally, it seems to me that the majority of our agricultural producers have nothing to fear: those who cannot stand the competition have already left the market.
The situation is aggravated because people are always afraid of the new and tend to exaggerate the negative consequences. Although this has its advantages: if you are preparing for the worst, it will be easier for you, because even if the worst happens, you are ready for it, and it will not happen - it is generally fine.
From the outside, it seems that the collective farmers are constantly complaining. But if you put yourself in their place, it will become clear: so they are just trying to convey to everyone that not everything is simple in agriculture. Of course, any business has problems, but there is no one to complain to the rest. Therefore, a rational policy of an agricultural enterprise when communicating with a sectoral ministry or the media - just complain. This is another tool for achieving goals.
Only business is nothing personal.
The rules of accession to the WTO, as I understand it, are quite complicated, and they certainly cannot be mastered by a simple collective farmer. Therefore, we focus on experts and study the information provided by the government. From this I noted a few important points.
First, for the agribusiness industry, the transition period will last until 2019, that is, all changes will occur very gradually. In particular, the prices of products will decline, probably in the course of three to five years. Moreover, taking into account inflation, consumers are unlikely to consider this difference. And so, that it cost a hundred rubles today, and tomorrow 85 - this will not happen.
The second is that support for agriculture will not only not decrease, but will almost double. It is not yet known whether the money will be budgeted for this, but in any case, the WTO rules allow it. If now 4-5 billion dollars are allocated to support agriculture, then the allowed limit is 9 billion after joining the WTO. In five years, the amount of subsidies must be reduced to 4 billion again, and only after seven years will direct support be replaced by indirect support. : for example, in the form of development of rural infrastructure, reduction of interest rates on loans and so on. But this is still very far away, and it’s too early to talk about it yet.
Today, subsidies from the state receive all agricultural enterprises. This can be treated differently: someone believes that this money is not allocated to product manufacturers, but to consumers, someone - that this is not market-based.
Of course, if all subsidies are taken and canceled at once, some enterprises will remain on the market: maybe half of the existing ones, maybe 20 percent. But products will rise sharply.
I estimated using the example of an average enterprise that produces milk - the situation is approximately as follows: let's say it employs 200 people, a herd of cows - 800 heads. Such an enterprise produces 350 tons of milk a month and receives subsidies from the state in the amount of about 15 million rubles a year. Every month it pays taxes and makes contributions to the funds - for the year about 10 million rubles. Total state loses five million per year. And in the ideal case, they would not lose anything at all if they only received taxes, but did not issue subsidies. But what will happen if this company ceases to exist?
Two hundred people will be left without work, each person will have to pay an allowance, which now amounts to 4900 rubles, which is 11.8 million rubles a year. Five million can be saved, but almost 12 are lost. This is a purely economic situation, but there are still some ideological nuances: the land is cultivated, people work, therefore, they show children by their example that work is good, otherwise it would be a whole village of the unemployed that idle and get drunk. Therefore, it is beneficial for the state to support agricultural enterprises. And we should not forget that almost 40 percent of the population lives in a village in Russia.
If the support really increases, then our companies will be able to rearm fairly quickly. Although those who wanted, already without any WTO did. Agrofirma "Patrushi", production cooperative "Kilachevsky", the economy "Kamenskoe" and "Belorechenskoe" - these enterprises are not inferior today to European and American either in performance or in equipment. But even if the state support to the agricultural sector does not increase, it is hoped that at least the same agricultural equipment prices will fall, because it is no secret that basically you have to work on foreign equipment.
Someone abroad buys seed, someone breeds livestock, medicines for livestock, too, as a rule, foreign production. If all this becomes a little cheaper, then the collective farmers will already benefit from the WTO.
Everyone is afraid of what - that foreign products will come to the market, which supposedly will be cheaper and of higher quality. But even if so, it is not a question of the coming year or even three. Well, they will not bring twice as much meat from Europe to us tomorrow! Panic, by the way, started just because of the meat. When traveling around Europe, I myself saw that in some places meat is cheaper there - at that price we get it only to wholesalers, and there already in retail.
And our collective farmers, probably, think: “It is still unknown whether subsidies will grow, and imported meat is about to come to us, and also at other prices.”
But it is necessary to take into account the costs of delivery, distribution - I do not think that these products, even with a decrease in quotas, will be significantly cheaper than ours. And then, there are a lot of people in our country: so at once Europe will not feed Russia with all its desire. After a year or two, it will become clear how the market situation is changing and whether it is necessary to somehow adjust it. If some industry subsides, then for the remaining five years of the transition period, if you try, you can create an enterprise from scratch that will work at the European level: three years for construction, two for technology development.
Who will surely feel worse due to joining the WTO is the producers of beef.
Today it is very difficult for them - I think these are heroic people. I'm talking about those farmers who specially grow meat breeds. They produce a product, the cost of which is several times different from the meat of the culled dairy cow, but the quality is no comparison.
A two-year-old goby, specially raised for meat, is one thing, and a five-year-old cow, which was milked twice a day and was told only at the last moment that it is now meat, is quite another. Of course, it is fairer to get more money for the first product, but it is difficult. When buying, everything is equalized with us, so the production of high-quality beef does not develop. Who can find a buyer and explain that this meat is of a completely different quality, and therefore more expensive - well done, but this is a very narrow market, and there is no question of large volumes. But so far there are no prerequisites for the situation to change and our beef will remain a by-product of dairy farming.
Pork and poultry producers, in my opinion, have nothing to fear. In addition, some, such as manufacturers from the Kaliningrad region, will even be able to increase exports. Although this is also a fairly long process: it may take a year or even more to obtain the required European certificates of compliance with veterinary requirements and other standards. As for the domestic market, today the market of chilled meat is actively growing, and these are only products of local producers. Demand for freezing at ordinary consumers has decreased. Of course, meat processing plants have survived, and it is profitable for them that the raw materials will become cheaper. But again, some of the products are already produced with a special label "Only from chilled meat." It seems to me to fear that the stores will suddenly fill up with some cheap Western meat semi-finished products, this is also a contrived fear.
The consumer is accustomed to delicious sausages and sausages. The demand for agricultural products is generally conservative: as a rule, people buy what they have already tried and have not been disappointed.
In the dairy industry - the same. Even if we imagine that a lot of milk powder will go from abroad and the plants will start to produce products from it, the consumer will quickly taste it and be ready to pay more for whole milk. In addition, dry milk is also not free - in any case, I hope so, so the difference should not be significant. Much more likely is the situation that Russian cheese manufacturers will lose ground, and milk producers will suffer from here.
If cheese importers start carrying products in large volumes and Russian companies cannot compete, then milk from other areas will come to us and, most likely, at lower prices.
20-30 kopecks is enough for our collective farmers to feel this for themselves. But then again, this is all from the area of horror stories.
Having felt at least some changes in the market due to joining the WTO, it seems to me that local manufacturers will begin to change the positioning policy - they will emphasize that they are their own and are next door to the buyer.
If even a very small company used to make bright packaging and wanted to look like national companies on a store shelf, now the situation will be reversed - companies will try to stand out for their localization.
From the entry into the WTO, agriculture will suffer no more and no less than all the rest. Perhaps someone will get a benefit. Russian exporters will win, but it just so happens that our exporters are primarily raw materials producers. But even those who have earned on oil will always eat, so we have nothing to fear.