September 01, 1996

Battle for the Harvest

Surveying his small farm in a river valley to the south of Moscow, Roman Ogibenin exudes the palpable pride of an entrepreneur.

“I was successful because I knew what I wanted,” he said. “Before I start any undertaking, or decide what I’m going to grow this year, I think about how I’m going to sell it. I think everything through beforehand, unlike my collective farm neighbors. For God knows how many years they’ve been growing nothing but carrots and taking them to the market at the very time when there are already plenty there.”

For the second time this century, private farmers like Ogibenin are fighting to save Russian agriculture. They have a big task ahead of them.

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