Posted by: Tony Carson | 31 August, 2008

In Russia, Agriculture may go the way of oil

Today, roughly 7 percent of the planet’s arable land is either owned by the Russian state or by collective farms, but about a sixth of all that agricultural land — some 35 million hectares — lies fallow. By comparison, all of Britain has 6 million hectares of cultivatable land. (Yields in Russia are tiny. The average Russian grain yield is 1.85 tons a hectare — compared with 6.36 tons a hectare in the United States.)

What is Russia going to do with its agricultural lands now that the country is standing on its feet again? Privatize it, sell it off to foreign hedge funds, collectivize it again?

And what do you do with the farmers? “Some investors have resorted to hiring psychologists to untangle the village culture and determine how best to instill a work ethic.”

This NYTimes article entitled Russia’s Collective Farms: Hot Capitalist Property tries to anticipate what tomorrow might bring.

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