Last year, agrarians of the Russian Federation significantly increased the production of so-called niche crops. This is largely due to the lack of state regulation in these markets, said Dmitry Rylko, director general of the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies (IKAR).
“Analysis of the final data on harvesting last year showed that agricultural producers are intensively looking for new markets, trying to “move out” from the main crops to niches free from state regulation,” Rylko told Interfax.
According to him, the area under niche crops is insignificant, but the trend is quite clear, record figures have been achieved for a number of crops.
Referring to Rosstat data, he said that the harvest of leguminous crops amounted to 4.6 million tons against 3.2 million tons in the previous year. “This is a record figure since 1990, when 4.922 million tons of these crops were harvested,” Rylko said. “Including the pea harvest also became the highest in the new history of the Russian Federation – 3.6 million tons against 3.2 million tons a year ago.”
The area under leguminous crops in 2022 expanded to 2.345 million hectares from 2.065 million hectares a year earlier, including under peas – up to 1.616 million hectares from 1.433 million hectares, respectively. At the same time, their share in the total sown area increased to 2.8% from 2.6% in 2021, including peas – up to 2% from 1.8%, respectively.
In addition, 467.9 thousand tons of chickpeas were harvested against 312.9 thousand tons in 2021, lentils – 257.9 thousand tons against 176.1 thousand tons, lupine – 105.5 thousand tons against 69.7 thousand tons, vetch – 138 thousand tons against 91.1 thousand tons, beans – 10.3 thousand tons against 6.99 thousand tons, respectively.
The production of niche oilseeds has also grown significantly. Thus, 222.2 thousand tons of soflora were harvested (151.4 thousand tons in 2021), mustard – 182.8 thousand tons (144.6 thousand tons), camelina – 34.5 thousand tons (21. 1 thousand tons).
At the same time, Rylko believes that some cultures have the potential to break out of the niche category. “A clear example is oilseed flax, which has long been a niche crop and in recent years has become one of the top four oilseeds,” he said.
According to Rosstat, the harvest of oilseed flax last year rose to a record 1.733 million tons from 1.296 million tons in 2021. The area under it in 2022 expanded to 2.092 million hectares from 1.564 million hectares in 2021. For the first time, the indicator of 1 million hectares was overcome in 2020, when oilseed flax was planted on 1.03 million hectares. The share of oil flax crops last year increased to 2.5% in the total area from 1.9% in 2021. In 2020, it was 1.3%.
Full version on the website Russian farmers increased the production of niche crops in 2022