State Plan Sees Cut in Poultry Quotas

The government will cut import quotas on poultry by 300,000 tons in 2009, First Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov said Saturday, Interfax reported.

"Work aimed at cutting the quotas is under way. ... We already reached an agreement with American producers on cutting [the quotas] by 200,000 tons, but the state considers this insufficient."

"In this way we will give Russian producers the ability to increase their production by approximately the same amount in 2009."

Zubkov said the government is also looking at cutting quotas for pork but that the size of the cuts has not yet been determined.

The measure is part of a government plan, released Friday, to improve the country's economic position amidst a worldwide financial crisis.

The plan would also require Vneshekonombank, the state-owned development bank, to provide financing for large agricultural projects.

The government is also planning to decide on subsidized financing on investments and short-term credit for the agricultural industry, which would increase the subsidy to cover 100 percent of the Central Bank's refinancing rate, from 66 percent now.