Volga Baikal AGRO NEWS Update on the Land Bank in Russia !!!
Unplowed field: it is worth returning fallow lands into circulation.
By the end of 2030, 12 million hectares of agricultural land should be involved in turnover. This will provide the country with products that we still do not produce enough, as well as increase exports. But experts recommend putting land into circulation in a targeted manner – only where it is required by the development of rural areas and will bring the greatest return to residents and businesses.
The introduction of 12 million hectares of land into turnover will ensure an increase in the volume of guaranteed crop production on reclaimed lands by the end of 2030 by almost 2.5 times (up to 145%) compared to the level of 2018, – the document says. Deputy Prime Minister Viktoria Abramchenko said earlier that in order to accomplish this task, a large-scale inventory of land will have to be carried out, to identify specific land plots most suitable for agriculture. Together with other measures, this will help fulfill the task of almost doubling the production and export of agricultural products – up to $ 45 billion.
In particular, fallow lands could be useful for organic production. And such a question – about the priority allocation of land for organic farming in certain regions of Russia – was recently considered at a meeting in the government, recalls the chairman of the board of the Union of Organic Agriculture Sergey Korshunov. Organics could potentially “take over” up to 2 million hectares, – the expert estimates.
But, according to the expert, there are not so many such lands suitable for agriculture in Russia: some lands have not been used for a long time, and it will be very expensive to put them into circulation. In addition, the tasty lands somewhere in the south of Russia have long been dismantled, and what can be effectively grown, for example, in the Pskov region, is a big question.
The land fell out of economic circulation for a reason, says Daria Snitko, head of the Center for Economic Forecasting at Gazprombank. In the USSR, the focus was on the physical availability of food, not on the economic feasibility of its production.
According to RosReestr the total area of agricultural lands is 382.5 million hectares, but unused – from 40 to 80 million hectares.
The Volga region and the arid South of Russia have the largest areas of abandoned lands. The arable land there is now almost 2 million hectares less than what it was before 1990. “Why is it difficult and not always economically justified to develop these territories? They have especially high weather risks, plus the remoteness of areas for the export of products to the consumer (internal – cities or areas of animal husbandry) or external (export),” – explains Daria Snitko.
In her opinion, it is more expedient to return the lands of the developed part of European Russia and regions where the export infrastructure is actively developing into circulation. The first can be attributed to the Non-Black Earth Region, where projects for growing crops of a temperate climate and forage resources (for example, flax, rye, legumes for hay) can be considered. The development of the Caspian ports may entail the return of the Volga region lands (access to the Volga for further export), where grain and oilseeds, traditional for Russian export, can be grown, – estimates the expert.
Dmitry Rylko, General Director of the Institute for Agrarian Market Studies, recommends focusing on the development of rural areas – especially to the north of the chernozem region, where, in fact, there was agrarian desertification. “But whether it is necessary to plow and sow something on these lands is a big question. It is necessary to build on the needs of each region and calculate whether the introduction of lands (and for which crops) will bring sustainable efficiency,”- he is convinced.