On November 11, at the forum «Strong Ideas for New Time», organized by the Agency of Strategic Initiatives and Roscongress, the HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development held a session on food security and Russian export potential in conjunction with the presentation of the Agrofinmost project.
According to the head of the UN World Food Programme, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize this year, humanity may be facing the threat of hunger of biblical proportions again. This threat is caused not only by a temporary failure in global agro-production chains due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also by more systemic changes in the global economy. Population growth up to 8 billion people and increase of consumption, especially in Asia, along with the climate change and environmental degradation, have led to the fact that a growing number of countries depend on food imports.
World trade in grain only — a key food commodity — has grown almost by 10 times since early 1970s, from about 60 to 600 million tons per year. In this context a real technological revolution began in agricultural production. Russia, due to its natural and climatic conditions, as well as its geographical position in the center of Greater Eurasia, has a unique potential for entering the world food market. But this requires systematic technological renewal and repositioning in the global food chains. Whether our country can make such a strategic choice and become an agri-food superpower and a guarantor of food security for the countries of the Middle East, North Africa and to some extent for China and the countries of Southeast Asia is the key issue of the discussion.
Alexey Ivanov, Director of HSE-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, moderated the session.
- Andrey Bezrukov, President of the Security Export Association, Associate Professor of the Department of Applied Analysis of International Problems of MGIMO University
- Edward Zernin, Chairman of the Union of Grain Exporters
- Kirill Levin, Member of the Board, First Deputy Chairman of Rosselkhozbank
- Dmitry Mazepin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of «URALKHIM»
- Mikhail (Shamil) Orlov, Chairman of the Russian — Egyptian Business Council, lead expert of HS-Skolkovo Institute for Law and Development, Director General of LLC «Agrofinmost»
- Khaled Hanafy, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, former Minister of Food Supply of Egypt (2014 — 2016)
- Laurent Genzbittel, Head of Digital Laboratory of Agriculture of Skoltech, Professor at Toulouse National Polytechnic Institute (France)
Issues which were discussed within the session:
- Problems of the existing architecture of global agricultural markets, challenges of the new century;
- Current, potential and desired place of Russia in the global agricultural architecture;
- Unlocking the potential of the Russian seed market and selection achievements through removing administrative barriers and creating a competitive environment based on equal and transparent access to genetic collections and fundamental research studies;
- Building a digital platform for the mobilization and inclusion in the global market of small and medium-sized agricultural producers;
- Updating the infrastructure of the Russian agricultural complex;
- Building direct strategic partnerships with importing countries on the principles of inclusive cooperation;
- Establishment of sustainable corridors for the supply of Russian grain and related products to consumers in Greater Eurasia;
- «Debottlenecking» to increase Russian agricultural export.