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Azarov says Ukraine to harvest 47 million tonnes of grain in 2012

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Sept. 15, 2012, 1:05 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov speaking Sept. 15 at the Yalta European Strategy conference.
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Yalta - Ukraine will harvest 47 million tonnes of grain in 2012, despite the summer drought, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said.

"We will harvest about 47 million tonnes," Azarov said at the 9th Yalta Annual Meeting on Friday.

The premier noted that, while weather conditions were quite unfavorable this summer, the harvest will not drop significantly from 2011 due to the government's policy, unlike the situation during the 2003 drought, when Ukraine harvested only 23 million tonnes.

Moreover, this government policy will enable Ukraine to increase its annual grain harvest to 100 million tonnes within the next several years, Azarov said. "And then Ukraine will become a major player on the market," he said.

The Agrarian Policy and Food Ministry reported earlier that, as of September 14, Ukraine had threshed 27.63 million tonnes of grain from 10.57 million hectares, which is 70% of all land under crops in the country.

The ministry had earlier forecast the 2012 grain harvest to reach 46 million to 46.5 million tonnes, compared to a record 56.7 million tonnes in 2011.

Experts estimate Ukraine's own annual demand for grain at 28.7 million tonnes.

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