Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Combination of Floods in Some Regions and Drought in Others Means Russian Harvest This Year will Fall Dramatically, Analysts Say

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 25 – At a time when food prices are rising and Russians are having difficulty buying the foods they need, the country faces another problem. Because of floods in some regions and drought in others, their country faces a decline in agricultural production this year, something that will send prices up and create shortages, Igor Pushkaryev says.

            Even though the amount of land sown this year was slightly greater than the amount sown last, crops are going to decline because in some areas, there hasn’t been enough rain for them to grow and in others, there has been too much and plants have rotted in the fields, he says government figures show (

            The size of fields which could be harvested has fallen significantly, for some crops by as much as 35 percent. And in the case of potatoes, new planting has fallen as well. Worse from the point of view of the market, the only reason overall production has not fallen further is the growth of private plots farmers use primarily for their own needs.

            There will thus be fewer potatoes coming to market and prices for them and for grains will go up, and these trends in Russia will be further exacerbated because production of these agricultural commodities in neighboring countries, on which Russia has relied when its crops do poorly, has also fallen. They will be buying from Russia and thus pushing prices up as well.

            Russians will thus face rising prices and shortages of many key food products, something the government won’t be able to stop because of the size of the problem and of the fact that these difficulties aren’t a one-year problem but have come into existence over many years and affect not just Russia but other countries as well.

            Consequently, experts say, the best Russians can hope to do is to “tighten their belts” in the expectation of more expensive food and less of it in the coming months.

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