In the 21st century, the relevance of climate agendas made the transition to resource-saving and organic technologies for producing and processing agricultural products a strategic task for many countries. Therefore, we witness the emergence and expansion of organic forms of farming all over the world. Over the past ten years, ‘organic agro-industrial complex’ has become mainstream in the transition to ‘green economy’. The authors consider the main forms of organic farming and the basic principles and approaches to resource-saving production in the agro-industrial complex. The article presents a review of the regional distribution of organic farming focusing on its volume and resource potential. The authors develop a new concept for the transition to organic farming on the Russian example, emphasizing the country’s resource potential and competitive advantages. Based on this draft Strategy for the Development of Organic Production in the Russian Federation until 2030, the authors identify the market and the structure of organic production and its main drivers and propose new directions for the development of organic branch in the national agro-industrial complex.
Agriculture, organic farming/production, market, food, manufacturers, ecology, products.
Fedotova Gilyan V., DSc (Economics), Associate Professor, Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology named after of K. I. Scriabin. Akademika Scriabina St., 23, Moscow,109472.
Novikov Mikhail V., PhD (Technical Sciences), Associate Professor, Moscow State Academy of Veterinary Medicine and Biotechnology named after of K. I. Scriabin. Akademika Scriabina St., 23, Moscow, 109472.
Dzhancharov Turmushbek M., PhD (Biology), Associate Professor, Russian State Agrarian University — Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy. Timiryazevskaya Str., 49, Moscow, 127434.
As a part of our traditional “Interviews” we present the selected fragments from the biographical memoirs of Stephan Merl, Professor of the Bielefeld University, a famous researcher of the agrarian economy and policy of the Soviet state. The memoirs were written as answers to the questions formulated by Stephan Merl together with his colleague and friend Alexander Nikulin. The questions set the direction for the biographical reflections as connected with the study of the Russian history and culture, in particular the fate of the Russian village, tragedy of collectivization, and turns of the Soviet agrarian policy. The memoirs reflect the dramatic episodes of the European history in the second half of the 20th century, some of which the author experienced, while others studied in the scientific perspective. Professor Merl’s diligence, deep knowledge of historical sources and research objectivity allowed him to suggest a new interpretation of the events that have become history quite recently or are becoming history now. We present an excerpt from his memoirs which will be published in full in the book series of the Russian Peasant Studies.
Russia, Germany, USSR, agriculture, collectivization, agrarian policy, perestroika.
Merl Stephan, DSc (History), Professor, Bielefeld University, Universitätsstr., 25, 33615 Bielefeld, Germany.
The article outlines the features of the development of rural areas in the Republic of Bashkortostan in the post-Soviet period, such as the high share of the rural population, developed agricultural sector, institutional support of the village, etc. Based on the statistical data and the results of the field research, the authors identify the dominant types of rural areas in the Republic of Bashkortostan by municipal districts with the predominantly rural population. The key features of the typology are as follows: natural conditions, district’s position in the system ‘center-periphery’, characteristics of population, level of the development of agriculture and public utilities. The results of the cluster analysis and data systematization allowed to identify the following social-economic types of rural areas in the region: suburban rural area, agrarian Bashkiria, and traditional Bashkir rural area. For each type and subtype of rural areas the authors conducted a detailed social-economic analysis and described the trajectories of the rural transformation in the post-Soviet period. Today, the role of the agricultural sector in the life of the rural population is decreasing. In the final section, the authors assess the role of agricultural production in the life of the rural population by types of rural areas. Thus, in agrarian Bashkiria, work on the land still remains the main labor practice (employment in agricultural organizations, personal subsidiary farms), but the life of the significant part of population is poorly connected with the agrarian sector.
Rural area, rural settlement, agriculture, factors of rural transformation, typology of rural areas, Bashkortostan.
Alekseev Alexander I., DSc (Geography), Professor, Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia, Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University. 119991, Moscow, Leninskie Gory, 1.
Imangulov Linar R., Master’s student, Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia, Lomonosov Moscow State University. 119991, Moscow, Leninskie Gory, 1.
The article describes the “collective villages” of Korean immigrants in Manchuria. These agricultural enterprises supplied products to the Kwantung Army and Japan. In 1944, 24,000 families of ‘collective’ immigrants lived in Northeast China (10% of Korean immigrants in Manchukuo). They all depended on the Japanese colonial structures which supplied the peasants with essentials and agricultural equipment, taking most of the harvest. The villages of Japanese settlers were of military-strategic importance. They were created on the territories at the border of the USSR as a stronghold of the colonial power and to control Manchuria. Korean colonists did not inspire much confidence in the colonizers, the Korean “collective farms” were to provide food for the Japanese expansion. Japanese officials simulated a virtual transfer of land as a property to Korean tenants. The belief in obtaining land (leased to Koreans) after paying off all loans to the Japanese company motivated the peasants to work productively. In fact, the loans were an instrument of enslaving the peasants. Promises to give them land after the loans were paid off were a phantom ‘carrot’ looming ahead. Loans of the “collective villages” were often used to pay off previous loans. The “collective farmers” got bogged down in debt bondage. The spatial design of such a village was a closed rectangle convenient for observation and control, which ensured the social isolation of villagers. By the late 1930s, collective villagers began to realize that they were victims of the Japanese colonial scam, which led to numerous exits from the “collective farms” (flight of Koreans).
Manchukuo, Korea, collective villages, agriculture, Korean settlers, Japanese colonial policy, anti-Japanese guerrillas.
Gaikin Viktor A., Senior Researcher, Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East (Far-Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences). Pushkinskaya St., 89, Vladivostok, 690001, Russia.
In the interview, the famous economist E. V. Serova talks about the features of the life path of the agrarian scientist and describes the stages of her scientific career — studies at the Faculty of Economics of the Lomonosov Moscow State University, work at the Agrarian Institute headed by the Academician A. A. Nikonov and in the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Government in the early 1990s, and later in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The interview pays particular attention to the research directions at the Institute for Agrarian Studies and to the development of agrarian education at the Higher School of Economics. Based on the ideas of randomness and regularity in the choice of the scientific profession, on the meaning of controllability and spontaneity of social-economic processes in the course of agrarian reforms, Serova identifies the system features of the strategic transformations of agriculture and rural development in Russia and abroad, which are related not only to economy but also to policy and culture. At the same time, Serova emphasizes the importance of social institutions and historical-cultural patterns of the rural residents’ behavior, on which the efficiency of the state measures in market transformations largely depends. The final part of the interview focuses on the prospects for the development of agrarian science and education, in particular on the need for a new paradigm for the development of rural areas in Russia.
Economics, agrarian science, agricultural policy, agrarian education, transitional economy, agriculture, rural development.
Serova Evgeniya V., DSc (Economics), Head of the Institute for Agrarian Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Pokrovsky Blvd., 11, Moscow, 109028, Russia.
Nikulin Alexander M., PhD (Economics), Heal of the Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Head of the Chayanov Research Center, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences; Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia.
The current social-economic situation in Russia poses new challenges for industries, agriculture, and services. One of these challenges is the search for alternative sources of food supply in regions and the strengthening of food security under the import substitution policy. In agriculture, the emphasis is placed on the development of both main branches and those previously considered additional. At the same time, there are attempts to diversify economies of the single-industry regions in order to ensure their ‘sustainable’ development. One of the regions representing all the above trends is the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region. Federal and regional authorities strive to reduce its budget dependence on the oil and gas rent and to invest in the traditional sectors of polar agriculture such as reindeer breeding and fishery. The article is based on the results of the author’s field studies in the summer of 2021 and describes the social-economic situation in Yamal. The author pays particular attention to agriculture and indigenous peoples of Siberia, to the history and main trends in the development of the nomadic and semi-nomadic groups of Yamal — to identify promising directions and main barriers for the development of regional agriculture.
Regional development, human geography, Siberian indigenous nations, migration, oil-producing regions, agriculture, reindeer breeding.
Gusakov Timur Yu., Researcher, Center for Agrarian Studies, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Vernadskogo Prosp., 82, Moscow, 119571, Russia.
The article aims at identifying features of grain production in Siberia and Kazakhstan during the campaign for developing virgin and fallow lands (second half of the 1950s) and subsequent decades of the Soviet and post-Soviet era; such features determined the results and consequences of the Virgin Project in 1954. The author identifies objective and subjective factors affecting the adoption and realization of the virgin land program; considers general and particular practices of plowing new lands; describes the dynamics of sown areas for crops, grain productivity and gross production, its qualitative characteristics in Siberia and Kazakhstan. The author argues that the campaign for developing virgin and fallow lands was a means of N. S. Khrushchev’s struggle for power, which explains its excessively large scale and relatively long duration. The author shows that the virgin land campaign is more significant for the history of Kazakhstan than for the history of Siberia. Due to the new land development in Kazakhstan, the sown areas of crops, primarily wheat, significantly increased; the network of large agricultural enterprises expanded; the infrastructure of agricultural production started to develop. In 1991, these production capacities became the foundations of the contemporary economy of independent Kazakhstan. In Siberia, the sown area of crops has decreased since the mid-1960s, but the gross grain harvest has grown, which indicates opportunities for intensive farming, and such opportunities are gradually realized.
Virgin Project, campaign for developing virgin and fallow lands, grain production, acreage, yield, grain farms, agriculture, Kazakhstan, Siberia.
Andreenkov Sergey N., PhD (History), Senior Researcher, Sector of Agrarian History, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Akademika Nikolaeva St., 8, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia.
The article considers the impact of the Soviet state agrarian policy on the agricultural production in the Novosibirsk Region. In 1930s, the government was not far-sighted: for short-term gains (growth of production volumes) the long-term prospects were sacrificed. The ever-growing state plans for sowing and harvesting prevented the development of the rational agricultural system in Siberia. By the early 1940s, in most collective farms of the Novosibirsk Region, elementary agrotechnical rules were broken: fallow lands were reduced, deadlines for agricultural work were not kept, rules for crop rotation and seed production were ignored. Therefore, the long-term clogging and depletion of soils, among other factors, determined extremely low grain yields during the Great Patriotic War. In the prewar period, the state agrarian policy led to the rapid depletion of the agricultural production in the Novosibirsk Region. By 1941, the region was in a critical situation of an acute shortage of seeds, food, and livestock feed. In 1942, the Soviet government continued its blind sowing policy and obviously underestimated the negative impact of such a policy on production under the reduction in labor and inputs. Planning errors led to a sharp reduction in gross grain harvests from 1942. Until the end of the war, the Soviet agriculture was negatively affected by the short-sighted state policies that significantly reduced possibilities for the productive use of the local agricultural potential.
Agriculture, state agrarian policy, agricultural technology, Great Patriotic War, peasantry.
Sharapov Sergey V., PhD (History), Researcher, Institute of History, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 630090, Novosibirsk, Nikolaeva St., 8.
Many countries face a shortage of labor resources and try to provide agricultural employment by attracting labor migrants from abroad. A ‘review’ of the role of labor migration in the development of agriculture requires a thorough analysis of migration statistics, since illegal migration is widespread, and there are no statistical records on seasonal workers. Therefore, migrants seem to make up an insignificant part of those employed in agriculture. However, the current global situation —the coronavirus pandemic—revealed a shortage of workplaces for labor migrants. In the pre-pandemic period, millions of foreign workers entered the Russian Federation every year. Under the pandemic, to attract migrants to agriculture and food production system of other countries became difficult, which highlighted their important role in the economic development. Therefore, the impact of the pandemic on the foreign labor market entered the agenda of international politics and measures to combat the covid-19 that limited migration, thus, determining a shortage of workers in agriculture and the underestimation of their contribution to national economies of other countries.
Migration processes, migration policy, pandemic, covid-19, agriculture, national economy, labor migrants, foreign labor force, labor migration.
Kisliy Oleg A., PhD (Pedagogy), Assistant Professor, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Prosp. Vernadskogo, 82 Moscow, 119571.
Isaeva Maria A., Officer, Division for Control in the Field of Migration, Main Directorate, Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, Moscow 115035, Sadovnicheskaya St., 63, bldg. 7.
The article considers the main ideas of the outstanding Russian economist and publicist V.P. Vorontsov as represented in his work Peasant Community published in 1892. This book provides a detailed examination of the zemstvo statistical data in order to refute the theory of the rudimentary nature of the peasant community. To prove his ideas, Vorontsov used the objectivist approach in the selection and presentation of the data. He showed that in the post-reform era, the peasant community not only kept its functions of protecting the rural world but also developed new means for implementing the principles of equality and justice and for adapting peasants to the market economy. The peasant community resisted the commodity-money relations, but this resistance was not always effective. There was a growing individualistic trend which threatened to destroy the community organization. Vorontsov focused on the distribution-production functions of the peasant community rather than on its financial-tax, law-making, judicial functions and methods of social protection, and did not consider its representative, police, cultural-educational, religious functions or the contradictions between the communal nature of land relations and the individual economic practices of the peasantry. Vorontsov’s book is a real encyclopedia of the activities and worldview of the Russian peasantry in the second half of the 19th century.
V.P. Vorontsov, peasant community, land redistribution, individualism of the peasantry, communal and household land tenure, agriculture.
Zverev Vasily V., DSc (History), Senior Researcher, Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 117292, Moscow, Dmitry Ulyanov St., 19.