Development of organic farming in Russia: a case-study (IT)


Anna Buyvolova, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Dept. of Soil Geography, and Yulia Mitusova, have recently published a comprehensive study on the development of organic farming in Russia, with the goal to suggest policy options to facilitate its development.

According to the study, the organic sector in Russia has been steadily growing since the beginning of 2000s. The amount of land used for organic agriculture almost doubled in 2014-15, and as of 2015 amounted to a total of 385,000 hectares of certified organic land. At the same time, the organic market has grown 10 times in value over the last 15 years. However, despite the overall positive dynamics, Russia's organic sector remains underdeveloped compared to leading countries in organic production and consumption. The development of organic agriculture in Russia is constrained by a number of policy issues linked to (1) institutional framework conditions, such as the recognition challenge of organic products, the absence of a national data collection system, and the lack of infrastructure necessary for implementing organic regulations; (2) domestic demand, such as low consumer purchasing power, competition from other "healthy" products, and trust-related issues; (3) production, because organic producers are few, the absence of state support for organic agriculture, and the lack of specialized education and research programs; and (4) export, including the lack of harmonization of Russian organic standards with international standards and the lack of export promotion support for Russian organic producers.

The policy options suggested in the case study are based on the assumption that the goal is first to develop the domestic organic market, and second to grow the export potential of Russia's organic sector. However, since less than 1 percent of Russia's population consumes organic products regularly, the current market is estimated to be limited. Additional data are necessary (1) to determine the potential of the domestic market for organic products and consequently (2) to decide on the best approach in the longer term: focusing on developing the domestic market or growing exports of organic products.

The research can be downloaded HERE

Source: Eurasian Center for Food Security