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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Will Aid Victims Of Drought

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the regions that have suffered from the droughts this year could get up to 100 billion rubles ($3.2 billion) to cope with the consequences of the disaster, Interfax reported.

“I would like the Finance Ministry to consider giving loans to the regions that have suffered from the drought,” Putin said at a meeting in Orenburg with governors of regions affected by drought.

About 3.6 million hectares of arable land in the Volga federal district has been affected by drought. The Orenburg region was the worst hit, with 1.1 million hectares affected. The Agriculture Ministry has called the drought the worst in the last 10 years. Only 8 percent of farmers who suffered from the drought had their farms insured, Putin said. “Helping those first whose farms are insured would be fair,” he said.

Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik, who came to Orenburg with Putin, said the government would provide three-year trade loans to farmers who have suffered from the drought. Farmers who got loans for one year would be allowed to extend their loans to three years with subsidized interest, Skrynnik said.

Skrynnik said the country could harvest 11 million tons of grain less than previously planned because of the drought this year. The Agriculture Ministry expects a harvest of about 85 million tons of grain.