Artem Belov: In the context of rising food prices, the population needs the support of the state
On February 12, at a round table on consumer protection and agribusiness interests organized as part of the 12th International conference of agricultural producers "Where is the margin 2021", he said that after allocating funds to families with children, as it was last year, the consumption of milk, cheese, sour cream and butter increased. Although in the conditions of lockdown, entire sectors of the economy, including the dairy industry, expected serious negative consequences.
‘I think it shows the government in practice that such a support measure can be effective,’ the expert said. ‘Moreover, with the help of modern technologies, the state can provide people with financial support with minimal infrastructure costs, make it targeted, taking into account income.’
According to CEO of the National Union of Milk Producers, a large number of our citizens spend more than 50% of their income on food. Therefore, in these circumstances, the government's program of introducing coupons and cards for concessional financing of socially vulnerable segments of the population could also become a real support.
‘In fact, we have a positive attitude to the system of domestic food aid with direct financing of citizens,’ the expert concluded. It has been discussed for a long time, and I hope that a decision will be made in some form. We once estimated that the allocation of 400-500 billion rubles from the budget would be enough. This is not fantastic money for the state, but for specific low-income citizens who live below the poverty line, there would be substantial support. In addition, it could significantly affect the increase in demand for food.
When asked about the fact that now there are too many falsified products on the shelves of stores – cheap sausage without meat, dairy products without milk - Belov answered as follows:
‘I'm not ready to agree with this, at least not in the dairy industry.’