Russian agricultural sector is ready for digital transformation (VIDEO)

On January 15, during a panel discussion at the anniversary Gaidar Forum, a business breakfast dedicated to “State and business on the way of digital transformation of the agro-industrial complex” was held.

The experts exchanged views on the AIC in the context of digital transformation. The moderator was Konstantin Noskov, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation. The key speakers were representatives of regional authorities and big business, and the business breakfast itself was prepared with the support of Cherkizovo Group PJSC.

The main tone of the discussion agenda was set by Alexei Gordeyev, Deputy Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, pointing out that digital technologies in the agro-industrial complex a not a novelty any longer, and most critical aspects are technology transformation and dialogue between business and the state. The main question is how to integrate digital technologies and provide the entire chain with digital and consumer-friendly solutions. A. Gordeev also pointed out that modern agriculture has one main advantage – an absolutely privatized sector driven by competition necessary for development. The state is fully interested in creating conditions for the development of digital transformation in order to improve the balance and development of the country's economy.

Alexander Nikitin, the head of Tambov Region administration, pointed out the need to streamline and align the terminology in this sector. In the regional agro-industrial complex everything is as automated as possible. Alexander Nikitin pointed to 2 stages of transformation: the first one is the digitalization of the production processes, and the second stage is the transfer of markets to a single digital platform. The head of the administration said that in the near future the region plans to show the technology of a “smart garden”. The region faces the only problem – local and global monopolism. Despite the difficulties, Tambov Region created the first alpha version of the digital platform together with Skolkovo and Rostelecom. Such associations are designed to improve and accelerate the digital transformation. Moreover, similar solutions are designed not only for large holdings but also for small forms of agriculture, which are more in need of support.

Victor Tomenko, the governor of the Altai Territory, noted that the region is the absolute leader in the production of agricultural products. The governor considers the exports increase in 2018 (about 3-4 times) an important aspect, which directly indicates an increase in production capacity and a positive digital trend. Space monitoring of fields, satellite systems, and other new technologies are already used, but so far in small formats.

After the speeches of government representatives, the moderator gave the floor to Sergey Mikhailov, general director of Cherkizovo Group PJSC. Over the past 3 years, the company has invested about 10 billion rubles in modernization and development of IT technologies. The influence of the human factor must be reduced, thereby increasing the guarantee of quality and reducing not only cost but also the number of risks. A business representative also pointed out that "any automation is economically feasible."

The moderator also noted the basic requirements of consumers on the use of technologies in the field of catering. KFC Russia Director General Raisa Polyakova noted that a smart restaurant is not only the elaboration of automation in the kitchen, but also in communication with consumers and suppliers. Using business digital kiosks, CRM systems, and many other things will help to quickly increase the capacity and scale of the business as a whole. “The digitization of the agro-industrial complex is an obligatory decision in our economic time. If you are not ready for action, it means that you are not competitive,” says Raisa Polyakova.

Another speaker was Andrey Slepnev, Director General of the Russian Export Center JSC: “Electronic commerce is important in digital age. From experience, we have found that companies are ready to go international but there is no clear understanding of how this should be done. Logistics also requires development. The lack of normal ORC networks and large number of route trains is a stumbling block for development. Russian products are very attractive in quality but their visual solutions are still not so attractive as the international analogues. Marking is important and will generally improve the market.”

The final words were spoken by the governors of Kaluga and Oryol Regions, Anatoly Artamonov and Andrey Klychkov. Both representatives of the public sector drew attention to the fact that managing markets without digitalization is impossible. Anatoly Artamonov revealed a significant problem – digital inequality. It lies in the simple lack of broadband access to the Internet. According to him, there is considerable potential for improvement in this vector of development. In turn, Andrey Klychkov drew attention to the use of satellites and electronic maps: "We are forced to turn to foreign developers, since Russian analogues simply do not exist." Digitalization and its transformation are moving towards the consolidation of holdings; therefore, some deterioration of the ecological situation is possible, which is also important for all market participants to understand. Moreover, the human resource is shrinking – people are moving to major cities and are less willing to own a farm. The personnel question also remains open.

All records of live broadcasts from the Gaidar Forum 2019

10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:

The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).

The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.

The general information partners of the Gaidar Forum include the Rossiya 24 TV channel, Forbes global media company, RBC and TASS news agencies. The official information agency is Rossiya Segodnya. The general radio partner is Business FM. The strategic information partners are Kommersant Publishers, the RT TV channel, Interfax and Gazeta.RU. The main information partners are Profil weekly, FederalPress news agency, and Invest Foresight online magazine. The international information partners are Sputnik and Cision. Other media partners include PRIME news agency, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, RNS news agency, Radio Ekho Moskvy, News.Ru,, Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the PRO BUSINESS TV channel, Strategia magazine, AK&M, BRICS, Ekonomika i Zhizn weekly, National Banking Journal, Expert Tatarstan magazine, the Smart Country information platform, Financial One, Naans Media, and the Public Administration scientific political journal.

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