Importing Apple Trees Instead of Apples, Russia Secures Food

Bloomberg reports that Russia increasingly is acquiring equipment and know-how from outside the country to expand agricultural output. Over the past decade, that strategy helped to create an exporting juggernaut for major crops like wheat and barley. But consumers still rely on foreign dairy, fruits and vegetables, so farmers are importing better seeds, greenhouses and even milking cows to improve domestic capacity.

 Agricultural investment reached 374.7 billion rubles ($6.6 billion) in 2017, up 3.1 percent from a year earlier, government data show. While there’s no estimate for how much of that went to foreign technology, such imports can be 20 percent to 90 percent of what it costs farmers to get new production operating, according to Agriconsult, a St. Petersburg-based consultant.
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