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Developing a new breed
    Specialists of the Kalmyk Research Institute of agriculture started working on a new breed of sheep by crossing Dorper and local Kalmyk breed. The experiments started in the Kalmykia Republic last summer. 
    Though Dorpers are quite expensive in Russia, their breeding is a profitable and promising business. Purebred Dorper rams reach a liveweight of 90-120 kg and ewes 50-80kg. The Dorper carcass has a good conformation and fat distribution. Dorper lambs have an inherent growth potential (ability to graze at an early age). They grow rapidly and can attain a high weaning weight. 
    The Dorper breed originated from the crossing of the Blackhead Persian sheep- a hardy desert breed, and crossed it with the Dorset Horned Ram- rapid growth and high quality meat. The Dorper sheds its fleece avoiding the need for mustering for shearing, crutching and fly control.

   The Kalmyk breeders plan to get the first yield by the middle of spring, 2017. If the first experiment is successful, scientists will continue to develop the breed. 
 
Coordination of the draft law
    Alexander Tkachev instructed to accelerate work on coordination of the draft law on the strengthening of veterinary control 
On 11 January, 2017 the Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Alexander Tkachev held a working meeting with the heads of the Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian Federal fisheries Agency, the Deputy Minister and Directors of departments of the Ministry of Agriculture. 
    The Minister announced the preliminary results of the previous year and gave instructions to the Deputy Minister and heads of departments of the Ministry of Agriculture for the main tasks of the current year. 
   "In 2016, the agricultural production grew by more than 4%. This is unprecedented growth. We received one hundred-nineteen million tons of grain. We observe positive dynamics in the production of livestock and fish products", – said Alexander Tkachev. According to the Minister, it’s necessary to focus on improving measures of state support of the industry and the implementation of new measures: concessional lending and single subsidies. "We need to actively engage in applied science in agriculture, development of selection and genetics, land reclamation and processing of agricultural products", he added.
   During the meeting the participants discussed the issues of preparation for the sowing campaign of 2017, the mechanisms of regulation of the grain market, including intervention, the situation in animal breeding, trends in different markets of agricultural products. The Director of the Department of crop production, mechanization, chemicalization and plant protection Pyotr Chekmarev reported the results in the production of crops in 2016 and the preparation for spring field work.


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Single subsidy for agriculture
  The decision on the introduction of a "single subsidy" was made on 30 December, 2016. The corresponding decree was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. 
  The Ministry of Agriculture was going to reduce the number of subsidies from 54 to 7 which was stated by Alexander Tkachev in July at the meeting with Vladimir Putin. In his opinion, it would expand the powers of the regions in determining the priorities of agricultural policy and improved the efficiency and timeliness of funding. In October the Ministry of Agriculture published a document that described all subsidies that would be merged, as well as rules for their allocation. In general, the essence of the decision is that instead of budgets for specific niches of agriculture, now the regions will receive money for agriculture, without indicating what amount for what purpose they have to spend. 

 
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