A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Agriculture, a strategic priority for Russia

September 23, 2013


On September 10, Nikolai Fyodorov, Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, pledged a further increase in government support to farming that could amount to RUB250 billion ($7.6 billion) annually for the next few years, a number that doubles last year’s federal spending. While the sum is still well below the subsidies granted in the United States or the European Union, it reflects the Kremlin’s growing concern regarding agriculture at a time when Russia has become, since the early 2000s, a new Eldorado for foreign investors.

Following 70 years of collectivism, Russia opened to world markets in the early 1990s and launched the process of privatizing its economy. The Government then drastically and rapidly reduced its support to agriculture in an environment of wild liberalization. The all-out liberalization and hasty government disengagement resulted in a sharp drop in national production and a deterioration of farmers’ incomes.

It was only after the 1998 Russian financial crisis that food security and agriculture became acute issues, leading some Russian regions to initiate local support policies for their agricultural activities. Starting in 2006, Moscow adopted a genuine agricultural development program and an increase in its agricultural budget.

Today, Russia is only starting to rediscover its agricultural potential. Its agricultural sector is still experiencing significant breakdowns––lack of infrastructures and farmers’ deficit, failing agricultural policies and low technical levels, weight of agro-food holdings at the expense of small- and medium-sized farms and rampant corruption. And the nation is still slow to adjust to the regulation of a global agricultural market that is structurally unstable and volatile.

Yet, agriculture is a major concern for the central government, which is tackling, for instance, the formation of agro-business giants capable to compete with the largest foreign flagships. In 2010, le government even adopted a policy on food security, a vital component of the national security of the Russian Federation.

For beyond the goal of ensuring the country’s food security, Russian authorities are striving to have a stronger presence in international agricultural markets. Betting on agriculture would thus represent a factor of political independence and power.

The strategic role of agriculture is increasingly and more clearly advocated by nations such as Russia, China, Brazil or the United States. But watch out for any protectionist temptation and the unfortunate trend to link together stop and go policies––as it is currently observed in Russia––that undermine global markets in an environment of hyper-volatility and increasing financialization. Consequently, it is crucial to implement regulatory mechanisms adapted to the challenges and the risks that are now facing agriculture.
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Paris, 18 December 2018