Challenges & opportunities for Russian agriculture: EU Agriculture Policy leaders join Russian counterparts at Regional FFA2010
September 3, 2010
On the 6th September over 150 delegates are expected to attend the year’s second Regional Forum for the Future of Agriculture in Moscow. Important political leaders such as former EU Agriculture Commissioner, Franz Fischler, and Paolo De Castro (Chairman of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee), will join Russian Minister of Agriculture Elena Skrynnik, and President of the Russian Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky, at this event. This Forum will particularly focus on the impressive developments in Russian agriculture, its place in the world, and should assess the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
Russia is one of the most important centers for agricultural production due to her vast reserves of highly fertile land. It is a country which has a great potential to increase agricultural production, since it comprises approximately 133 million hectares of arable land upon which many believe it is possible to double yields of cereals and even triple them on the best soils. Indeed, some commentators have argued that – in the years ahead – the country could replace the United States as the world’s biggest exporter of wheat.
Many significant steps have already been taken as Russia proceeds with agricultural reform and modernization although challenges remain in terms of storage, transport, and farmer education. Progress has also been temporarily interrupted by a production crisis following the summer’s extreme climatic conditions which has resulted in an export ban, which many believe is fuelling the recent spikes seen in global commodity prices.
This will no doubt form the back drop to discussions in Moscow with a heightened interest amongst delegates, particularly from Europe, in understanding how Russia is responding. However, whilst Russia’s Agriculture Minister Skrynnik initially expressed concern about harvest forecasts for 60 million tons, her Ministry and the Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Agency have recently released an optimistic forecast for 65 million to 67 million tons.
With all this in mind, delegates will no doubt be looking forward to hearing the views of the impressive line up of speakers who will give their perspective on how to unlock Russia’s Agricultural potential and the way to forge a greater understanding and cooperation with the EU on agricultural policy.
The Forum for the Future of Agriculture (FFA) is a partnership between the European Landowners Organization, RISE Foundation, and Syngenta. The Regional FFA in Moscow is organized in association with the AMBIKA Group and the Russian Grain Union.Author : agricultureforum