Russian Agriculture: what are the challenges and opportunities?

Monday, September 6, 2010
09:30 - 15:10 (CET)

This conference focused predominantly on agribusinesses, farming and trade and infrastructure in Russia. The event brought together key political leaders from Russia and the EU, along with stakeholders from international agri-businesses, farmers and landowners, academic institutions, and NGOs, in order to identify key areas for cooperation such as research and development and best farming practices.

Alexander PETRIKOV, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation opened this session by stating that agribusiness has always been a crucial industry in Russia. Grain production is considered as the basis of agribusiness as well as being of strategic importance in providing the country with food security thus strengthening Russia’s position in the global agri-food market.

Mikhail ORLOV, Founder & President of the Ambika Group explained that agriculture plays an important role in the Russian Federation as it has 127 million hectares of arable land with only two per cent of the world’s population living in Russia which therefore places Russia in an important position regarding food security on a global scale.

Overall, this conference underlined the necessity of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and the EU. It is of prime importance to develop commercial, scientific and other mutually beneficial cooperation as a means of guaranteeing peace in the near future. Russia has enormous potential for expanding agricultural production. However, it is vital that proper investment is put into storage, fertilisers, innovation and technology to ensure that growth and intensification of agriculture.

Corrado PIRZIO-BIROLI concluded this conference by emphasising the huge potential for cooperation between the EU and Russia as a ‘grain basket’ but also as a ‘countryside platform’. We are facing common challenges such as desertification, ageing populations, infrastructure problems in view of that fact that we share a similar culture. Therefore Russia and the EU could often have a comparable world view.

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