Document Type

Honors Project


Russian agriculture underwent drastic changes after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. A large-scale collective system, with a planned economy, was expected to enter the market economy rapidly with the help of new legislation and programs. Things did not go as the central Russian government and international development organizations had planned. Instead of joining the global capitalist system, rural Russians turned to small private plots and practiced subsistence agriculture for survival. Some people attempted to start private farms but were often not successful because of a lack of capital and structural support. Other enterprises remained variations of collective farms, but without as much state support as before their productivity declined. Overall during the 1990s agricultural output fell sharply. This paper examines why Russian agriculture, specifically in rural Siberia, has thus far not been able to join the larger global market. It employs the lens of political ecology with a specific focus on the role of the Russian state and distance, both physical and political.


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