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Many Russians rushed to buy sugar, buckwheat and salt after sanctions weakened the rouble and sent food prices higher in late February-March. 

Russia is looking for suppliers of packaging for baby food and dairy products due to disruption in supplies caused by the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow, the country’s agriculture minister, Dmitry Patrushev said on Wednesday.

Russia is a major global agriculture producer but the sanctions, imposed by Western countries over the Ukraine crisis, have caused supply disruptions and prompted some foreign suppliers to leave the market.

“As for dairy products and baby food, I would like to note the following: in order to maintain stability in this segment due to restrictions on imports of packaging and a number of ingredients for baby food production, we are working with the business community and the trade ministry to find opportunities to replace foreign suppliers of packaging,” Patrushev told a government meeting.

Patrushev also said that the agriculture ministry had proposed that the government should set up export quotas for sunflower oil to “maintain the stability of situation”.

Ukraine and Russia are the world’s largest sunflower oil producers. India imports more than 90 percent of its sunflower oil from them, though sunflower oil accounts for 14 percent of its total edible oil imports.

Many Russians have rushed to buy sugar, buckwheat and salt after sanctions weakened the rouble and sent food prices higher in late February-March.

The authorities have repeatedly told people there is no need to stockpile food products.

“Russia is fully self-sufficient in the main foodstuffs. There are sufficient stocks in warehouses and distribution centres, which are constantly replenished,” Patrushev said.

“In general, the Russian agriculture industry is coping with significantly increased demand for food products,” he added.

Source: Al Jazeera

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