Russia May Give Agricultural Investors Land for Free

Agricultural ministry proposes to take radical steps to put millions of unusued farmland to productive use

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Russian daily Vedemonsti reports that Agricultural Ministry is working on a policy proposal under which agricultural investors would be leased given currently unused farmland free of charge. 

The Ministry further proposes compensation to investors for any development of the state-owned land. Addition, if the investors prove to have successfully developed the land within the five year period, they could become the new owners of the land or the state may continue to lease the land free of charge.

<figcaption>Land is gold</figcaption>
Land is gold

Without state support businesses are reluctant to invest in Russian agriculture, but the Ministry hopes to change that with these attractive proposals.

According to the 2014 figures from the Ministry of Agriculture Russia has 386,5 million hectares of agricultural land, including 196,1 million hectares of farmland. 56 million hectares, or 28.6% of all farmland is not in use for its intended purpose. Almost half of that - 21.6 million hectares- are located in Siberia.

Earlier this year a bill was passed in the Duma to distribute plots of land of up to 100 acres to Russian citizens in the Far East. This land cannot be sold and is only to be used for agriculture.

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