CONCEPTS OF STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR THE AGRIFOOD SECTOR

Research article
DOI:
https://doi.org/10.23649/JAE.2023.39.14
Issue: № 11 (39), 2023
Suggested:
23.10.2023
Accepted:
15.11.2023
Published:
20.11.2023
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Abstract

In connection with the transition from the tasks of self-sufficiency to the tasks of achieving physical and economic accessibility at the level of rational consumption standards, changes in the conceptual foundations of strategizing the agricultural industry are required. The article discusses the problems of integrating the current concepts of the Food Security Doctrine into the strategic planning system. It is proposed to supplement the concept of strategic planning for the development of the agri-food sector with provisions on the unity (convergence) of the physical and economic accessibility of products. A specific scientific and conceptual apparatus for the formation of the concept of strategic planning has been introduced into scientific circulation, taking into account tasks in the field of ensuring food security (in terms of the definitions of “physical availability of products”, “economic accessibility of products”). This contributes to the formulation of a complex multipurpose task in the field of development of the agro-industrial complex and ensuring food security and the development of relevant methods for solving it.

1. Introduction

The 2020 New Doctrine introduces fresh directives aimed at guaranteeing food sovereignty, which involves making sure that all residents of a nation have both physical and economic access to food while maintaining food production at levels that do not compromise reasonable consumption standards. The correctness of the strategic task in this formulation is obvious. However, a change follows that the guidelines of the previous Doctrine (from 2010) regarding the transition of threshold indicators of self-sufficiency in some types of products were achieved only by reducing the level of domestic consumption per capita. In the case of products like fruits, vegetables, and meat, the per capita consumption level during the analyzed period rises primarily due to a decrease in product variety and a shift towards more affordable options such as apples, cabbage, and poultry

.

Table 1 - Dynamics of self-sufficiency and level of consumption of main types of products per capita

Note: compiled by the authors based on [14]

The issues of qualitative improvement of nutrition, the formation of a healthy diet, and increasing the physical and economic accessibility of food also remain unresolved
.

Given that pandemics have introduced new challenges to addressing the increasingly complex issue of maintaining rational consumer production standards in the face of food problems, it becomes imperative to bolster a holistic structural framework for agricultural industry development and food security assurance.

2. Research methods and principles

The purpose of the study is to propose a conceptual framework for strategic planning for the development of the agri-food sector, taking into account modern national challenges in the field of ensuring food security.

Research objectives:

- to specify key concepts in the field of ensuring national food security that contribute to the formulation of a multipurpose task for the development of the agri-food sector;

- supplement the content of strategic planning of the agri-food sector with provisions on the convergence of aspects in the field of ensuring food security.

The study is based on the theory of strategic management and the concept of sustainable development of the agro-industrial complex.

The following information resources were used: (1) provisions of the Doctrine of Food Security of the Russian Federation of 2020; (2) Rosstat data on production and consumption per capita for 2017-2021.

To extract knowledge, the following methods were used: scientific generalization and critical analysis (assessment of key concepts in the field of ensuring food security), expert assessments (analysis and design of the conceptual framework for strategic planning for the development of the agri-food sector), comparative analysis (assessment of trends characterizing the dynamics of self-sufficiency, physical and economic product availability).

3. Main results

Before setting new goals for strategic plans, it is necessary to clarify the terminology of food security, since a number of controversial issues are revealed in relation to it:

First, the concept of “food sovereignty” is based only on self-sufficiency thresholds. However, as scientists note

,
, the current situation is not a guarantee of food independence, since increased self-sufficiency can be achieved with a decrease in domestic consumption, as is currently happening for milk. It is logical that if the rate of decline in production is lower than the rate of decline in its consumption, then there will be an increase in the level of self-sufficiency of this production.

Secondly, the concept of “physical accessibility...”, presented in the Doctrine, takes into account only the development of commodity-distributing employment and overlooks the possibility of creating rational consumption standards through the domestic production of food products, which precisely increase the requirements for the country’s food independence. Considering that the availability of products is influenced by both domestic production and imports, maintaining complete self-sufficiency in terms of physical availability for essential product categories is necessary to achieve food independence.

Thirdly, the concept of “economic accessibility...” refers only to product prices and loses sight of consumer income. Both play an important role in achieving affordability. The experience of the USA and the EU shows that even in conditions of high prices, it is possible to achieve a high solvent income for products.

The specified clarifications to determine key interpretations of concepts (Table 2).

Table 2 - Refined interpretations of aspects of food security

Note: compiled by the authors

In this method, we build on the opinions of scientists
that the mechanical accessibility of the study indicator due to domestic production is used, and global food producers, including those who sold products for export, are advisable, taking into account the priority of self-sufficiency of rational norms of its consumption.

Physical accessibility does not ensure economic accessibility; at the same time, the economic accessibility of products is an incentive for the formation of physical accessibility. Understanding this is important for creating conditions that ensure a balance between the sun and supply at the level of rational consumption standards and above.

Table 3 - Correlation of the level of production and consumption of products per capita with rational standards, coefficient

Note: compiled by the authors based on [14]

Today in Russia the level of physical security (production per capita per year) by type of product (vegetables, fruits, milk) has not been formed. The problem lies in insufficient incentives for product supply. Particularly strong domestic demand lags behind rational norms for fruits, vegetables, milk and fish. This was significantly found in families with low levels of disposable resources per capita. As per capita income levels decline, household groups experience a decline in consumption of all major types of food. At the same time, 20% of the population (with stable low incomes per person per month) cannot ensure an increase in consumption of products (except sugar) at the level of rational standards. At the same time, only 20% of the population (with sustainable income per person per month) can afford to consume a variety of food products, taking into account their nutritional impact, their diet has a higher energy value
.

Today, the problem of food security and agricultural development requires a comprehensive approach. Each aspect of agricultural development creates the necessary conditions for the formation of an alternative aspect of food security. To ensure the physical availability of products, it is necessary to create conditions for the economic development of agriculture, to ensure the economic accessibility of products – real conditions for development, to ensure the quality and safety of products – conditions for the environmental development of the industry. This exactly corresponds to global concepts of agricultural development.

The International Community and the World State hold the perspective that the focus of agricultural development should be twofold: firstly, to guarantee the presence of high-quality food products, and secondly, to establish the necessary economic conditions for their accessibility. Industrial countries consider this problem from three aspects: food availability, quality and effective demand for it. As a result, national food security is a key indicator of the development of domestic agriculture (Figure 1). 
National food security as a result of the development of domestic agriculture

Figure 1 - National food security as a result of the development of domestic agriculture

The formation of Food Security based on the influence of agricultural development is possible subject to the following conditions:

1. To physically ensure the provision of products, a developed material, technical and technological base, a developed commodity distribution and rural infrastructure, high levels of profitability and profitability, ensuring payback of costly and reproductive resources, etc. are required.

2. To ensure economic accessibility, low prices for products and a high level of income of the population are necessary.

In this period, the food mission of agriculture respects: (1) high quality products and low costs for them, (2) low labor costs and decent wages, (3) low prices for products and high profitability with profitability. This concept is the fundamental principle of agricultural planning that must take into account all key aspects. The proposed concept of strategic planning in the field of development of the agricultural industry and ensuring food security based on the unity of physical and economic accessibility of products (Figure 2).

Unity of food security aspects

Figure 2 - Unity of food security aspects

The concept of the unity of aspects of food security, in fact, should become the basis for planning the development of the agri-food sector, the goal of which is not only to justify its desired state, but also to ensure the optimal trajectory of transition to it. Planning is carried out in a similar way in Western countries. To rephrase the scientific statement: Based on a synthesis of various scientific studies, both international
,
and domestic
,
conducted by researchers, it becomes evident that achieving a balance between food demand and supply in accordance with rational nutritional standards and beyond requires a combination of financial support from producers to regulate physical access conditions and socio-economic support for consumers to facilitate economic access to these products.

In 2014, Russia adopted the Concept for the Development of Domestic Food Assistance

. This concept aimed to guarantee both economic and physical access to food by either directly supplying food products to the less privileged citizens or furnishing them with the necessary financial resources to procure food. Unfortunately, as of now, the real-world implementation of this concept remains unrealized.

4. Conclusion

The modern problem in the field of food security is becoming complex, requiring solutions to problems both in the sphere of production and consumer products. To strengthen the theoretical and methodological positions of the Doctrine, the authors of the concept form the unity of the physical and economic accessibility of products, which represents the principal and fundamental basis for changes in planning. A possible practical option for implementing the concept involves returning to consideration of the draft Federal Law “On Food Security of the Russian Federation”

. The authors of the developed mechanism for implementing the proposed concept and carried out a financial and economic justification were the absence of the main reason for the violation of the law of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, which is in the second reading.

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