Russian agricultural sector adapts to pandemic

The Russian agricultural sector saw another year of growth in 2020, despite problematic circumstances. Overall, agricultural output grew by 1,5%, which was weaker than in previous years, as the sector still suffered from the effects of the pandemic.

The development of the sector has been fuelled by the government’s ban on all agricultural imports to Russia -imposed in 2014- in response to foreign sanctions. Russia used the ban to pour investment into agriculture to make the country autonomous.

However, production of certain crops such as potatoes declined considerably, while sugar beet production collapsed to levels not seen in many years. According to a recent report, the fastest growth has been posted by private farmers, whose share of total crop production has gradually risen to more than 20%. Agricultural corporations, co-operatives and organisations have also succeeded in rapidly ramping up production. Currently, they account for about 55% of Russia’s crop production and over 60% of livestock production. At the same time, production of household farms has contracted gradually over the past decade, although they still account for nearly a quarter of crop production, about two-thirds of potato production and over half of vegetables.


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