DUSHANBE, March 15, Asia-Plus -- Russian open joint-stock company (OJSC) “Russian Railways” has granted discounts for rail shipment of fruits and vegetables from Tajikistan.  

According to information from the Tajik Railways State Unitary Enterprises, a 50-percent discount has been granted for shipment of fruit and vegetable in refrigerator vans and a 25-percent discount for shipment of vegetables and fruits in goods trains.   The source says the Russian side has taken such a decision following this year’s unusually cold winter that caused serious damage to the Russian agrarian sector.  Russian experts predict that it may lead to increase in prices of vegetables and fruits in the country. 

The same discounts have been granted to vegetable and fruit shipments from Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan as well.  

It is expected that reduction in rates of rail shipments import of fruits and vegetables to the Russian Federation will increase at least tow times and their prices will come down approximately by 15 percent.  

In the meantime, according to information from the Ministry of Agriculture, Tajikistan exported 40,960 tons of fruits and vegetables and 44,339 tons of dried fruits to the Russian Federation last year.  Tajikistan is ready to export 80,000-90,000 tons of early potatoes and 100,000-120,000 tons of onions to the Russian Federation already in May and double fruits and vegetable exports to Russia during the year.  

Besides, the food resources department of the Moscow Mayor’s Office, has shown interest in import of Tajik vegetables and fruits to the Russian capital this year and expressed readiness to provide assistance to Tajik producers in establishing contacts with enterprises of the Moscow wholesale-food complex, according to Toshali Muqimov, head of the fruits-and vegetables department of the Agriculture Ministry.  “The Moscow authorities have sent a list of some 30 enterprises for establishing direct contacts,” Mr. Muqimov said.