The authorities in Russia are looking to increase financial support for vineyard owners in the country, according to local reports.

Citing a statement from Russia's Agriculture Ministry earlier today (10 April), Prime-TASS News has reported that the Government will double the subsidies available for setting up and maintaining vineyards in 2012. A total of RUB700.2m (US$23.5m) will be offered this year, which will be available to companies holding a minimum of one hectare of vineyards. Previously, a company had to have a minimum of 50 hectares of vineyards to qualify for any subsidy.

The statement, from Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik, also said that the government intends to invest RUB3.21bn in the industry between now and 2020.

“According to the government’s 2020 vineyard business development programme”, Prime-TASS News said, “49,800 hectares of vineyards are expected to be established by (2020). Gross harvest is planned to increase to 581,400 tonnes per year.”