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Russian soil

Photo by: Marjolein van Woerkom

After the sanctions of the European Union, Russia realised it had to be self-sufficient with regards to food production. On top of that, the government decided to become an exporting country. Now Russia is on the brink of change and agriculture is booming.

This fact alone made the ENAJ/Barenbrug press tour to Moscow region in mid-August worthwhile. Those who thought of Russia as far behind when it comes to farming technology, machinery and yields couldn’t be more wrong.

Big agricultural holdings are rising. Foreign investors are staying. You can start a farm from scratch and within a couple of years own a 2.000-hectare farm.

The sky is the limit. You are invited.

However, how does this growth impact the soil? How does it impact land use and soil quality? Are farmers aware of that? How do they manage their land?

Researcher Nick van Eekeren of the Louis Bolk Institute was flown in from The Netherlands to tell the 17 attending European journalists about the importance of the soil. Armed with a small shovel, he dug into the Russian soil to show the quality to the attendants and to the farmer himself.

ENAJ journalists also heard from farmers who told them about their experiences, and (Russian) Barenbrug Group experts were able to put that into a wider perspective. We journalists flew home with at least a backpack full of knowledge, which will lead to many articles. We also gained new or deepened ENAJ-connections.

Marjolein van Woerkom, The Netherlands