The Current State of the Russian Agricultural Sector
Russia's agriculture produces around 3.7 per cent of the country's GDP, employs 9.2 per cent of the national workforce and contributes around 6 per cent of the country's exports. The sector has shown remarkable resilience in the face of wider economic turbulence. Self‐sufficiency rates for the main agricultural commodities are relatively high. Agricultural exports have grown very significantly since 2000 especially for wheat and meslin (wheat and rye mixture). Meat production has been growing steadily, particularly in the poultry and pork sectors. Whilst the agri‐food sector has great potential to play an even more prominent role in Russia's economy, it suffers from relatively low productivity and an outdated technological base. The main drive for efficiency has come mainly from the relatively large‐scale agricultural firms, who generated more than half of the total value of agricultural output in 2016. Foreign policy instability, including economic sanctions, the devaluation of the national currency and declining economic growth have weakened the sector and caused an increase in the prices of imported goods and equipment. At the same time Russian products have replaced high value‐added imports and Russia's agricultural producers are expanding into new markets.