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11 Apr, 2009 12:45

Farming to save crisis-hot Russians

Farming to save crisis-hot Russians

Russia’s Kemerovo region governor, Aman Tuleev, has come up with a plan to survive during the economic crisis. He plans to offer land, as well as privileged seeds and domestic animals to those in need.

Under the project, Kemerovo region authorities will give a quarter-acre to families with unemployed parents. The fortunate farmers will be offered assistance in tilling the ground, as well as in buying potatoes for cultivation. Meanwhile, those who decide to buy and rear cows will be granted 30 thousand rubles (around 900 dollars) in support. Meanwhile, those who cannot keep big domestic animals will have an opportunity to take rabbits for breeding.

Those responsible for realization of the plan, however, are not that optimistic about the initiative.

They say they were a bit surprised by Tuleev’s ruling, and for the time being, have no idea how this plan can be implemented. They admit they will not be able to offer assistance to everyone who needs it, as their workloads are too heavy. Nevertheless, the local employment center director, Vladimir Bespiatov, is sure the mission will be successfully accomplished by June, because the governor’s orders "are always executed."

The move was met with mixed reaction by the local residents, though. They remember Soviet times when people were given land to cultivate, but some couldn’t enjoy the benefit of having one’s own piece of land, as crops were often stolen.

This is not the first ‘agricultural’ initiative in Russia. Earlier, similar ideas were voiced by the mayor of central Russian Cherepovets, and the governor of Ural’s Sverdlovsk region.

Meanwhile, U.S. first lady Michele Obama has recently planted a White House garden for the first time since 1943.