A decade after capitalism transformed Russian industry, an agricultural revolution is stirring the countryside, shaking up village life and sweeping aside the collective farms that resisted earlier reform efforts and remain the dominant form of agriculture.
The change is being driven by soaring global food prices (the price of wheat alone rose 77 percent last year) and a new reform allowing foreigners to own agricultural land. Together, they have created a land rush in rural Russia.
“Where else do you have such an abundance of land?” Samir Suleymanov, the World Bank’s director for Russia, asked in an interview.
As a result, the business of buying and reforming collective farms is suddenly and improbably very profitable, attracting hedge fund managers, Russian oligarchs, Swedish portfolio investors and even a descendant of White Russian émigré nobility.
Hahahahaha. White Russians and hedge funders buying up Soviet collectivized farms. Now I've seen everything. Anyway, here's a random book recommendation on the collectivization of Soviet farms and the deliberate famine engineered by Stalin in the Ukraine during the early 1930s: The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine by Robert Conquest.