Factor Markets In Russia's Agri-Food Sector: Frameworks of Further Analysis
A decade after the initial reforms of the former Soviet economy, the results in agriculture remain disappointing. Despite food price liberalization, barriers to marketing agricultural output are still present in many regions, and access to modern inputs is very limited almost everywhere. Agricultural output remains about one-third below the pre-reform levels of 1989-91. Incomes of workers employed in agriculture remain depressed. Yet significant changes have occurred. Output increases have been noted on household subsidiary plots, which have been enlarged and play an important role, especially where former collective farms are weakest. New arrangements are springing up in which input suppliers or other businesses related to agriculture are establishing vertically integrated or other contractual arrangements with agricultural producers. These arrangements are managing to supply much-needed fertilizer, chemical, and energy inputs in ways more promising than the barter arrangements that have characterized the dealings of many former collective farms and the ad hoc and unpriced ways in which owner-employees of these farms often acquire inputs for their own farming enterprises on private plots. Even without fully developed land ownership rights, it appears that rental transactions under which new operators may acquire the use of increased acreage are increasing and are beginning to be economically important.
The objectives of the project are to quantify the extent to which factor market constraints have impaired the ability of Russian agriculture to function efficiently and profitably, to establish which constraints are most important in both the short and long run perspectives, and to provide the analytical knowledge needed to formulate policies to remedy obstacles and constraints. In order to consider the state of knowledge and determine the research directions in following three years the BASIS , University of Maryland and Centre AFE have hold a conference in July, 2001 in Golitzino (Golitzino-II) nearby Moscow. The proceedings of this conference are presented in this book . The book is issued in English and Russian simultaneously.
Proceedings of the Workshop Held in Golitsyno, Moscow Region, 6-7 July 2002