November 01, 1996

Letters to the Editor

To the Editors,

I am a new subscriber to Russian Life. It was with much interest that I read Yelena Utenkova’s article, Battle For the Harvest in your September 1996 issue. I found it very enlightening and accurate, especially as it relates to the great amount of influence still held by the collective and state farm bosses over those individuals who are desperately trying to become ‘private’ farmers.

In summer 1994, I was participant in a project to help establish the Saratov Municipal Mortgage Bank in Saratov, Russia, originally designed to implement a new source of funding for private farmers in the Volga River area. The obstacles still denying Russia a stable and productive agricultural system are tremendous. Government policies towards agricultural production and marketing are just one of many things which must be radically changed before any kind of true advancement in the ‘private’ agriculture sector can be made. In my opinion, Russian agriculture is a sleeping giant — with a little help the country can be awakened into one of the true agricultural powers in the world. I was most grateful of the opportunity to help in what little way I could and wish Russia’s farmers well in their endeavors.

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