Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic to support reindeer breeding and modernization of greenhouse facilities in the Nenets Autonomous Area
The Russian Government has allocated around 500 million rubles this year in state support for the traditional economic activities of the small-numbered indigenous peoples in the Russian Arctic. According to the Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic, the program has funded three production facilities and a reindeer hide processing workshop in Nelmin-Nos.
In 2023, the Government plans to fund the purchase and modernization of slaughter facilities as well as reindeer product processing facilities for reindeer farms. This comprehensive approach to reindeer breeding development will ensure year-round supplies for local residents and create conditions for storing reindeer products in compliance with sanitary regulations. Higher production volumes will lower prices.
“Small-numbered indigenous peoples constitute our cultural heritage. Countries around the world place high emphasis on preserving the customs and lifestyle of indigenous peoples. It is pleasing to see that the ministry’s programs supporting the economic activity of the northern indigenous communities bring benefits. We will continue to work together on supplementary decisions to boost the effectiveness of these programs and produce specific results,” Minister for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Alexei Chekunkov noted at a meeting with Governor of the Nenets Autonomous Area Yury Bezdudny on the region’s socioeconomic development.
There are currently 29 reindeer breeding farms operating in the region, with a total head count of more than 174,000 animals. The farms produce more than 1,300 tons of meat every year. One of the most pressing issues hindering the development of the reindeer farms is the shortage of modern equipment capable of moving in the snow. This type of equipment is required for building nomad camps, reindeer herding and protecting herds from predators. The Government is considering the possibility of allocating additional funds from the federal budget to cover these costs.
During the meeting, the governor and the minister also discussed supporting exports to foreign countries, including Asia. Considering that reindeer meat trading is the backbone industry for the steady development of the small-numbered indigenous peoples, Governor of the Nenets Autonomous Area Yury Bezdudny said it was important to improve the marketing of reindeer meat on the domestic and export markets in order to boost its competitive performance and increase sales.
“We proposed an entire range of measures to support reindeer breeding and hope to receive support from the ministry. The demand for reindeer products is on the rise; however, few people in moderate climates are aware of the benefits of reindeer meat. In fact, its nutritional value should be explored by healthcare facilities. A comprehensive approach is necessary, based on awareness efforts and new regulations incorporating reindeer meat into the meals provided at educational facilities,” the governor stressed.
The meeting also covered renovation of a greenhouse facility in Naryan-Mar. After the renovation, the facility will be able to supply 457 tons of sheltered ground produce in 2023 and around 1,000 tons in 2024. The project will ensure supplies of a wider variety of fresh produce, which will be available to the local population all year round.
As Alexei Chekunkov noted, the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic already cooperates with regional officials on the majority of growth areas. Many of them are already included in the existing frameworks; therefore, support measures will be prioritized and calibrated to the needs of specific companies.