NEWSWATCH: “Back to the land: Russia’s farming transformation; Can government policy and a new foodie class turn the country into an agricultural force?” – Financial Times/ Kathrin Hille

File Photo of U.S. Dairy Cows

“… With 123 million hectares in arable land – the world’s third-largest area behind only India and the U.S. – Russia has the potential to be an agricultural superpower. The country has 36,400 agricultural enterprises and 174,600 farmers, according to the 2016 agricultural census. … although the broader economy has been in the grip of recession over the past two years, agricultural output has grown from Rbs4.3tn (£55bn) in 2014 to Rbs5.6tn last year – stimulated, in part, by Moscow’s embargo on western food imports, introduced three years ago in response to US and European sanctions. * * * The area of farmland converted to organic agriculture in Russia also doubled in 2014 and increased by another 57 per cent in 2015, making it one of the countries with the fastest-growing organic land reserves in the world, according to FIBL. …

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