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Nov 13, 2022
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The government is preparing a golden rain for mushroom pickers

The government is preparing a golden rain for mushroom pickers

Photo: Valery Matitsin / TASS

The inexhaustible forest wealth of the Fatherland – mushrooms, berries, nuts, medicinal herbs and much more than the Russian people live from time immemorial – should belong to him. So that he, and not the Europeans, who are buying up “food resources” from us on the cheap, can freely collect, process, and sell them. Though in the same Europe.

This was taken care of in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, remembering that “the field of processing and circulation of wild food resources is an economically and socially significant industry with significant growth potential.” It is a pity that the understanding of this fact came to our officials with a delay of about thirty years, if not more, during which the lion’s share of the national heritage floated away and flew abroad. But, as they say, better late than never.

As noted in the explanatory note of the Ministry of Agriculture to the draft government decree Mikhail MishustinFor many years, foreigners exported the gifts of our nature, processed them at home, after which they sold us the finished product at an exorbitant price. And the added value remained, of course, with them.

Particularly successful with mushrooms. They bought and exported not everything in a row, but mostly gourmet brands promoted by them. Among them, Europeans include white, mushrooms, white and yellow milk mushrooms, spruce and pine mushrooms, chanterelles. To us, they import mushrooms grown under artificial conditions. In other words, junk. But at European prices. Such is the tricky business.

But now, finally, the native authorities came to their senses. There would be no luck, but the NWO helped: the Ministry of Agriculture was concerned about import substitution. And they remembered the country’s forest wealth, which until recently was viewed exclusively as an “export potential” that requires strict regulation. They “adjusted” to the point that they already undertook to limit the access of fellow citizens to the forests. Do you want, for example, to collect mushrooms for homemade salting or berries for jam for kids? Buy a license. Pay tax. A corresponding bill has been prepared. Three years ago it was actively lobbied by the same Ministry of Agriculture and interested business persons singing along with it. Prevented the implementation of this dubious plan COVID-2019. Indeed, there is no evil without good!

And now, in the wake of anti-Russian sanctions, the relevant department decided not to slow down private producers of food products from wild plants, but to issue soft loans to them. In addition to mushrooms and berries, wild plants include nuts, herbs, birch sap, and edible “wild” fruits. Moreover, division by grades – (higher / not higher, promoted brand or not, etc.), which is important for mushroom pickers, is not being done, regardless of their status – whether it is at least a fan of “silent hunting”, even an entrepreneur. Already progress, untying the hands of domestic collectors. After all, Europeans are buying tons of chanterelles that are now considered delicacy from us. Considered an aristocratic dish.

Being in Paris a few years ago, the SP correspondent was quite surprised when the landlady of the apartment, from whom I rented a corner for a week, complained that she had not brought her chanterelles, at least dried ones: “They are very expensive with us and are in great demand “. Recently, I called her, they talked about how Russians live in France, which has changed its orientation towards overseas France. She told a fresh joke about the president Macronwho recently spoke about the need to return the Russian Federation to the G8. Why all of a sudden? “It seems that the beloved Russian mushrooms are over,” the Parisians state …

In the late 2010s, the story of the sale of almost a thousand tons (!) of chanterelles to Germany and Lithuania thundered throughout Russia. And that’s just in one region! Lithuania, we note, acts mainly as a reseller: it buys from us at bargain prices, and sells in the EU with a solid “fat”. Half of mushroom exports from the Russian Federation went there. Another quarter in Germany. This, by the way, is about the sale of Russia’s natural resources to Russophobes.

A hundred years ago, “quiet hunting” was almost the main way of food and income for the vast majority of Russians. As domestic newspapers reported in those years, up to 4-5 pounds of mushrooms were eaten per capita per year. This is about 70 kg per person. The Yaroslavl, Olonetsk (now Karelia), Tver, Vologda and Kostroma provinces were famous for the especially rich berry and mushroom trade, where entire villages were engaged in the collection.

Now in the villages, it is known, the population is not numerous. And the villages themselves have drastically decreased. As well as forests. But those that remain are still able to feed Russia. If you approach the matter wisely.

— I do not think that the current ministerial initiative will change anything in the lives of those farmers who grow or collect the gifts of nature. “Practice has proven the ineffectiveness of most bureaucratic attempts,” said “SP” Vladimir Akhatov (surname changed), a farmer from the Volosovsky district of the Leningrad region. – Personally, I have already gone bankrupt once, believing the authorities, just on the collection and sale of mushrooms. We have them here – take them – I don’t want them! So I switched to potato farming. Mushrooms are an additional income for me. At first, I will not hide the idea, to open a small enterprise for their processing. Familiar Finns undertook to help with the implementation.

In Suomi, products from them have been very fashionable in recent years. I figured out what the registration, credit, taxes, endless checks would cost me, and refused. Mushrooms are a perishable product. They might not survive all the procedures. And that means working at a loss.

“SP”: – Is the situation the same with berries, nuts?

– My wife and I were fond of medicinal herbs at one time. In the district for 50 km there is a great variety of them. A real natural pharmacy. So after all, they didn’t even give a proper start. One enumeration of requirements and approvals discouraged.

About reasonable requirements, constant, at the same time not intrusive control over farm forestry is also Anatoly Bazhan, financier, scientist, Doctor of Economics.

“SP”: – Where, in your opinion, Anatoly Ivanovich, should we start, giving the green light to the development of a new branch of agriculture in the country?

– With the lifting of bans on farmers. There are so many of which (prohibitions) that one wonders how it is possible to create and develop something at all. And put literate people in charge of the industry in the center and in the localities. Those who have their own experience in forestry. To control and at the same time help entrepreneurs-berry growers, mushroom pickers and other specializations. And then after all, as now – an official comes with a check, he does not like everything, everything is not right and wrong. It only kills people’s desire to work, that’s all his “help”. As for the very initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture with preferential loans, they made the right decision. From both a labor and a commodity point of view, this is now very useful.

“SP”: – Will we have enough forestry specialists to prevent barbarism in relation to nature?

And the government should think about it. The chronic problem of economic transformations and undertakings in our country is the precocity of both decisions and their implementation. And where there is precocity, there is thoughtlessness. And the prospect is rarely calculated. The result is, at best, zilch. At worst, billions of budgetary funds “down the drain.”

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