Putin wants Russia to be an Organic Agriculture Leader

Putin has big goals for Russian food production. Are they attainable without sacrificing his people's civil liberties?
Putin has big goals for Russian food production. Are they attainable without sacrificing his people’s civil liberties?

Vladimir Putin delivered his annual parliamentary address this week. He declared that Russia should not only begin producing all of its own food but become a world leader in organic agriculture. You can watch the portion of his address about agriculture here.

Putin’s address included some strong talking points about ISIS and Turkey, so his remarks about organic agriculture have flown somewhat under the radar. What he’s proposing is huge, though. Russia has close to 100 million acres of unfarmed land, and this isn’t barren tundra. It’s fertile, farmable land.

Not only does Russia have all of this arable land, but the country banned GMO food production earlier this year. That means Russian farmers can cultivate any crops they want without worrying about GMO cross-contamination from neighboring fields.

“We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources,” Putin said in his address, “Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing.”

Wealthy westerners want organic, non-GMO food. Food that isn’t treated with the most toxic pesticides on the planet. And Russia is in a unique position to provide it.

He wants the country to become self-sufficient in food production by 2020. That could be bad news for landowners and lessees who aren’t currently doing much, if any, farming on their property. He also talked in his address about possibly confiscating land for resale to farmers if it’s not being sufficiently farmed now. But who decides what’s sufficient?

Putin set some ambitious goals for Russian food production. Are they attainable without sacrificing his people’s civil liberties?

Image Credit: Russian Wheat Field photo via Shutterstock

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .
  • CarmenO

    Good for them. We should do the same here. (Not that I’m stupid enough to think “our” government will allow it, taking into account the deep pockets of the entire chemical industry.) Who decides? Who decides here in the US when the government’s eminent domain power is invoked and people’s property is taken. You can tell if a farm is not being sufficiently farmed when you see most of the land has nothing growing or in the case of some people when all you see is lawn. Russia is still a socialist nation, even if they have very rich people; same as China is still a communist nation even when it has many very rich people. They do things differently. By growing most, if not all their food, they are way ahead of the US, where we import food that can grow right here, making us dependent on other nations. You can live without the electronics we import if other countries decide to boycott the US some day, but we can’t live if we don’t grow enough food if they were to decide to. Taking into account how things are, a boycott against Russia is not something with zero chance of ever happening. If I know it, you can bet Putin knows it. One thing he is without any doubt is intelligent.

    • I totally agree that the self-sufficiency is good and that you can tell when land isn’t being farmed. I just worry that this will be an excuse to grab land and turn a profit at the expense of people who have little to no power. I hope that my worries turn out to be unfounded!