The Russian government has ordered the Agriculture Ministry to take measures by May 25, 2014 in order to improve the control system over the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in agriculture products, raw materials and food taking into account the best international practices.

According to the statement posted on the governmental website, this order was given following a meeting on agricultural development in 2013 and after tasks were set for 2014 by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on February 6.

The Agriculture Ministry should carry out this work in association with the Russian consumer rights watchdog (Rospotrebnadzor), Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), other interested federal executive agencies and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In addition, the Agriculture Ministry, the Finance Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry have been ordered to look at volumes and sources of funding federal budget subsidies for farmers to pay interest on investment loans signed before January 1, 2014. These proposals must be submitted to the government by February 25.

The Agriculture Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry and regional governments are to draft proposals on dairy farming development, including creating mechanisms to stabilize prices at milk and dairy market. These proposals are to be submitted to the government by April 17, 2014.

The Agriculture Ministry, industry associations, Russian Agricultural Bank (RusAg) Rosagroleasing and banks have been ordered to create conditions for transferring agriculture to a new technical basis.

At the same time, the Agriculture Ministry, the Finance Ministry, the Regional Development Ministry and the Economic Development Ministry should consider the possibility of increasing the co-financing of expenditure obligations of the Russian regions from the federal budget to implement the state program for agriculture development for 2013-2020. The ministries must complete this task by March 20, 2014.

In addition, the Agriculture Ministry, the Economic Development Ministry, the Finance Ministry, regional governments and banks have been ordered to draft proposals stipulating the increase of farmers' financial stability. These proposals must be submitted by April 8.

The orders also include preparing by May 15, 2014 proposals on ensuring the accuracy of the initial statistical information given to farmers and analyzing economic consequences of establishing the free trade area with New Zealand for the agricultural sector.

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