KHUJAND, March 14, 2012, Asia-Plus  -- A delegation of Russia’s Altai Krai, led by deputy governor Boris Larin, visited the northern Sughd province on March 12-13.

On March 12, Sughd governor Qohir Rasoulzoda received the delegation.

In the course of the talks, Larin noted that a two-way trade between Altai Krai and Tajikistan’s regions was increasing from year to year.  In 2010, trade between Altai Krai and Tajikistan’s regions amounted to 20 million U.S. dollars, he said.

Sughd province’s exports to Altai Krai include fruits, vegetables and tinned goods and Sughd’s imports from Altai Krai include mainly grains, wheat flour and lumber.

The sides also considered issues related to educational cooperation between the regions.  110 students from Sughd province now study at Altai Medical University.

On March 13, Boris Larin met with Russian Consul General in Khujand Aleksandr Kopnin.

A memorandum on economic, scientific and humanitarian cooperation between Sughd Province and Altai Krai was signed in Moscow in September 2007.

We will recall that the delegation of Russia’s Altai Krai arrived in Dushanbe on March 12.  The delegation’s visit will last until March 18 and during his stay in Tajikistan, the delegation is scheduled to hold talks with high-ranking Tajik state officials and visit Khatlon and Sughd provinces.

Altai Krai is a federal subject of Russia (a krai).  The krai''s administrative center is the city of Barnaul.  Its economy depends on agriculture.

The krai is situated in the southeastern part of Western Siberia and is part of the West Siberian economic region.  The krai is favorably located close to major sources of raw materials, has a well-developed infrastructure, especially in the area of heavy industry, and an abundance of natural resources. It is a major industrial and agricultural region of the country.

Altai Krai is one of Russia''s most important agricultural regions.  Today, farmland covers an area of 110,000 km², of which 69,220 km², or nearly 41% of the total area of the krai, is cropland.  The main crops are hard varieties of spring wheat, buckwheat, millet, peas, barley, oats, and potatoes and other vegetables.

Livestock farming specializes in meat, milk, wool, and egg production.  Altai Krai is a major wool producer and an important base for breeding fine-fleeced pedigreed sheep, which makes it possible to export more than 30,000 head of pedigreed sheep per year.  The territorial market also offers pedigreed swine, poultry, meat, eggs, honey, and wild products such as deer antlers, furs, and pelts.

Today, Altai Krai not only meets the agricultural product requirements of its own population, but also the requirements of many other Russian regions.  Altai exports many kinds of cereals, as well as processed grain products such as wheat and rye flour, pasta products, sugar beets, sunflower seeds, and flax fiber.  The krai is Siberia''s largest grain, sugar, and meat producer and its second-largest cheese producer.