Western agricultural investors in Russia and Ukraine: From fascination with soil to disappointment with climate

Visser O. Western agricultural investors in Russia and Ukraine: From fascination with soil to disappointment with climate // The Russian Peasant Studies. 2021. V.6. №4. P. 21-49.

DOI: 10.22394/2500-1809-2021-6-4-21-49


This article looks at how imaginaries of land and climate play a role in farmland investment discourses and practices. Foreign farmland investors in the fertile black earth region of Russia and Ukraine have ‘celebrated’ soil fertility while largely ignoring climatic factors. The article shows a centuries-long history of outsiders coming to the region lured by the fertile soils, while grossly underestimating climate which has had disastrous implications for farm viability and the environment. Comparisons with historical and contemporary literature on other regions (e.g. the US prairies and North Africa) suggest that the underestimation of climatic risks by newcomers is remarkably prevalent in resource frontiers.


Land imaginaries, ignorance, soil, farmland investment, climatе.

About the author

Visser Oane, Senior Researcher, International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, of Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherland The Hague, Kortenaerkade 12, 2518 AX.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Read 358 times Last modified on Mar 19 2023

Russian Peasant Studies. Scientific journal

The Russian Peasant Studies is published by the Center for Agrarian studies of the Russian Presidental Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) since 2016. ISSN 2500-1809 (Print), ISSN 2949-2564 (Online). Frequency - four issues per year. The Russian registration number is PI FS77-65824 27-May-2016. Open access: All volumes and articles can be downloaded for free in the PDF format. Russian Peasant Studies included to Russian Science Citation Index, Russian Science Citation Index Core, List of Journals approved by Russian Hihger Attestation committee (Ministry for Sciende and Education) and  Scopus database. The publisher: Delo Publishing House of the RANEPA. Hard copies of the journal can be purchased at the Delo e-store or by subscription in the "Press of Russia" Agency (subscription index - Т81017). Full list of the RANEPA Journlas

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