The Russian embargo on agricultural products could last until at least 2018, a dairy expert from Russia told the recent World Dairy Summit.

Mikhail Mishchenko said that in Russia, farmers finally understand their strength; everything in that market depends on them.

“Many of them are investing in processing. New facilities are appearing.

“This is a big opportunity for small businesses; a number of people are going to become farmers,” he said.

He also said that the Russian government has launched supports to aid agri-businesses, such as grants and subsidies.

Generally business and society support the embargo and most farmers support the ban.

“Now everybody understands here in Russia that this is a good chance for development (of Russian agricultural produce).

Mishchenko however, did say that there were some problems with the embargo. Consumption is decreasing and the big processors don’t like this; there is low consumption opposite higher costs, he said.

Just over one year ago, the Russian government announced an embargo on imports of a range of agricultural products from the EU, United States Canada, Australia and Norway.

Meat, dairy products, fruits and vegetables were the targeted categories and on June 25 this year, Russia announced the extension of the import embargo by one year (until August 2016).

According to the Commission one year on, it is clear that the EU agri-food sector has been remarkably resilient. In most regions, most of the affected sectors have been able to find alternative markets, either within the EU or beyond, the Commission said.