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24 Sep, 2008 03:55

Is farm technology the way to beat high food prices?

Russia is looking at its massive amount of undeveloped land as a way of overcoming high food prices. The country has 30 million hectares of undeveloped land.

Oil prices have grown 130% since 2002 and specialists say that’s fuelled high food prices.

Russia has also seen a spike in food prices, but as world demand grows, the country has a chance to improve its position on the global market.

“Agriculture technology works best on a large scale, so it means larger areas of land when land pulled together see the advantage of technology, but secondly it is reliable credit at the right time,” Randy Schnepf, a specialist from the Congressional Research Service, says.

The main lender to the agricultural sector in Russia says the amount of credit it gave out last month was up on the previous month, and that includes even small and medium enterprises like market gardeners.

Russia's future lies in new technology aimed at increasing productivity.

“We give the long term credits for all the preparational work as well as for agriculture machinery – increase of productivity due to the better technology is a priority,” Chairman of Agricultural bank, Yury Trushin, says.

Even with this year's record-high harvest in Russia, productivity is still only half that of Europe.