Frontiers of Earth Science

, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 157–166 | Cite as

Grain production trends in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan: New opportunities in an increasingly unstable world?

  • Elena Lioubimtseva
  • Geoffrey M. Henebry
Research Article


Grain production in the countries of the former USSR sharply declined during the past two decades and has only recently started to recover. In the context of the current economic and food-price crisis, Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan might be presented with a window of opportunity to reemerge on the global agricultural market, if they succeed in increasing their productivity. The future of their agriculture, however, is highly sensitive to a combination of internal and external factors, such as institutional changes, land-use changes, climate variability and change, and global economic trends. The future of this region’s grain production is likely to have a significant impact on the global and regional food security over the next decades.


Russia Ukraine Kazakhstan food security global change grain production 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alcamo J, Dronin N, Endejan M, Golubev G, Kirilenko A (2007). A new assessment of climate change impacts on food production shortfalls and water availability in Russia. Glob Environ Change, 17(3–4): 429–444Google Scholar
  2. Almaganbetov N (2005). The impact of land reforms on economic development of Kazakhstan. The Center for Policy Studies, Central European University/Open Society Institute, BudapestGoogle Scholar
  3. Baydildina A, Akshinbay A, Bayetova M, Mkrytichyan L, Haliepesova A, Ataev D (2000). Agricultural policy reforms and food security in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Food Policy, 25(6): 733–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bokusheva R, Hockmann H (2005). Production risk and technical inefficiency in Russian agriculture. Eur Rev Agric Econ, 33(1): 93–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Castells M (1999). End of Millenium. Malden: BlackwellGoogle Scholar
  6. de Beurs K M, Henebry G M (2004). Land surface phenology, climatic variation, and institutional change: analyzing agricultural land cover change in Kazakhstan. Remote Sens Environ, 89(4): 497–509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Beurs K M, Wright C K, Henebry G M (2009). Dual scale trend analysis distinguishes climatic from anthropogenic effects on the vegetated land surface. Environ Res Lett, 4(4): 045012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dronin N, Kirilenko A (2008). Climate change and food stress in Russia: what if the market transforms as it did during the past century. Clim Change, 86(1–2): 123–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dudwik N, Fock K (2007). Land Reform and Farm Restructuring in Transition Countries: the Experience of Bulgaria, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. Washington, DC: World Bank PublicationsGoogle Scholar
  10. EBRD-FAO (2008). Grain production and export potential in CIS countries. Fighting food inflation through sustainable investment. European Bank for Reconstruction and Development/Food and Agriculture Organization, London, UKGoogle Scholar
  11. FAOSTAT (2009). Food and Agriculture Organization Statistics., Accessed December 2009
  12. Fischer G, Shah M, Tubiello FN, van Velhuizen H (2005). Socioeconomic and climate change impacts on agriculture: an integrated assessment, 1990–2080. Phil Trans Royal Soc B, 360, 2067–2073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fischer G, Shah M, van Velthuizen H (2002). Climate Change and Agricultural Vulnerability. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar
  14. IKAR (2010). Institute for Agricultural Market Studies. Accessed January 2010
  15. IPCC (2007). Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. In: Metz B, Davidson O R, Bosch P R, Dave R, Meyer L A, eds. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  16. Koester U, Brümmer B (2006). Institutional changes for agricultural and rural development in the CEEC and CIS region. Electronic Journal for Agricultural and Development Economics, 2(2): 144–179Google Scholar
  17. Koester U, Striewe L (1998). Huge potential, huge losses — The search for ways out of the dilemma of Ukrainian agriculture. In: Siedenberg A, Hoffmann L, eds. Ukraine at the Crossroads: Economic Reforms in International Perspective. Heidelberg/New York: Physica-Verlag, 259–270Google Scholar
  18. Kovalskyy V, Henebry G M (2009). Change and persistence in land surface phenologies of the Don and Dnieper River basins. Environ Res Lett, 4(4): 045018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Leichenko R M, O’Brien K L (2002). The dynamics of rural vulnerability to global change: the case of southern Africa. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Climate Change, 7(1): 1–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lerman Z, Csaki C, Feder G (2004). Agriculture in Transition: Land Policies and Evolving Farm Structures in Post-Soviet Countries. Lanham: Lexington BooksGoogle Scholar
  21. Lerman Z, Sedik D, Pugachev N, Goncharuk A (2007). Rethinking agricultural reform in Ukraine. Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe, IAMO, Vol. 38, Halle, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  22. Liefert W M, Liefert O, Serova E (2009). Russia’s Transition to Major Player in World Agricultural Markets. Choices, 24(2):47–51Google Scholar
  23. Lioubimtseva E (2010). Global food security and grain production trends in Central Eurasia: do models predict a new window of opportunity? National Social Science Journal, 41(1): 154–165Google Scholar
  24. Lioubimtseva E, Henebry G M (2009a). Potential impact of climate change on the grain productivity in Central Eurasia: human vulnerability and adaptations. In: Global Changes: Vulnerability, Mitigation, and Adaptation. Sofia: Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski University Press, 22–27Google Scholar
  25. Lioubimtseva E, Henebry G M (2009b). Climate and environmental change in arid Central Asia: impacts, vulnerability, and adaptations. J Arid Environ, 73(11): 963–977CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lissitsa A, Odening M (2005). Efficiency and total factor productivity in Ukrainian agriculture in transition. Agric Econ, 32(3): 311–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Long S P, Ainsworth E A, Leakey A D B, Nösberger J, Ort D R (2006). Food for thought: lower-than-expected crop yield stimulation with rising CO2 concentrations. Science, 312(5782): 1918–1921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Macey D A J, Pyle W, Wegren S K (2004). Building Market Institutions in Post-Communist Agriculture: Land, Credit, and Assistance. Lanham: Lexington BooksGoogle Scholar
  29. Mendelsohn R, Morrison W, Schlesinger M E, Andronova N G (2000). Country-specific market impact of climate change. Clim Change, 45(3–4): 553–569CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Meng E, Longmire J, Moldashev A (2000). Kazakhstan’s wheat system: priorities, constraints, and future prospects. Food Policy, 25(6): 701–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Muratova N, Terekhov A (2005). Estimation of spring crops sowing calendar dates using MODIS in Northern Kazakhstan. IEEE, 5: 4019–4020Google Scholar
  32. OECD-FAO (2008). OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2008–2017. Paris: OECD Publishing, 230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Osborne S, Trueblood M A (2002). Agricultural productivity and efficiency in Russia and Ukraine: building on a decade of reform. Market and Trade Economics Division, Economics Research Services, USDA, Agricultural Economics Report No. 813Google Scholar
  34. Parry M L, Rosenzweig C, Iglesias A, Livermore V, Fischer G (2004). Effects of climate change on global food production under SRES emissions and socio-economic scenarios. Glob Environ Change, 14(1): 53–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pegov S A, Khomyakov D M, Khomyakov P M (2000). Global change impacts on the socio-economc situation in Russia. In: Kotlyakov VM, ed. Global and Regional Climate Change and Its Environmental and Socio-economic Impacts. Geos, Moscow, 60–69 (in Russian)Google Scholar
  36. Schmidhuber J, Tubiello F N (2007). Climate change and food security special feature: global food security under climate change. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 104(50): 19703–19708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sedik D (2004). Missing pillars: the failures of rural finance in Ukraine. In: Macey D A J, Pyle W, Wegren S K, eds. Building Market Institutions in Post-Communist Agriculture: Land, Credit, and Assistance. Lanham: Lexington Books, 89–106Google Scholar
  38. Sedik D, Trueblood M, Arnade C (1999). Corporate farm performance in Russia, 1991–1995: an Efficiency Analysis. J Comp Econ, 27(3): 514–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Serova E V (2000) Russia’s agro-food sector: state of the art. In: Wehrheim P, Frohberg K, Serova E, Von Braun J, eds. Russia’s Agrofood Sector: Towards Truly Functioning Markets. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 81–106Google Scholar
  40. Tebaldi C, Hayhoe K, Arblaster J M, Meehl G A (2006). Going to the extremes: an intercomparison of model-simulated historical and future changes in extreme events. Clim Change, 79(3–4): 185–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. USDA (2009). Global Crop Production Review. USDA’s Joint Agricultural Weather Facility. Accessed December 2009
  42. USDA FAS (2010). USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. Acessed March 2010
  43. Uzun V (2005). Large and small business in Russian agriculture: adaptation to market. Comp Econ Stud, 47(1): 85–100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wehrheim P, Wiesmann D (2006). Food security analysis and policies for transition countries. Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, 3(2): 112–143Google Scholar
  45. WHO (2009). Wold Health Organization Databases. Accessed April 2009
  46. World Bank (2009). The World Bank Data. Accessed April 2009
  47. Wigley T M L (2008). Magicc/Scengen 5.3: User Manual (Version 2). NCAR, Boulder, CO, September 2008, Google Scholar
  48. Wright C K, de Beurs K M, Henebry G M (2012). Combined analysis of land cover change and NDVI trends in the Northern Eurasian wheat belt. Frontier of Earth Science, 6(2), DOI: 10.1007/s11707-012-0327-xGoogle Scholar
  49. Zhang B (1997). Total factor productivity of grain production in the former Soviet Union. J Comp Econ, 24(2): 202–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geography and Planning Department and Environmental Studies ProgramGrand Valley State UniversityAllendaleUSA
  2. 2.Geographic Information Science Center of ExcellenceSouth Dakota State UniversityBrookingsUSA

Personalised recommendations