Production of Organic Fibre Crops in Russia S2
Vasyukov, Y.1 & Vereshchak, M.2
1) Interregional Union of Organic Agriculture ğEkoNivaĞ (EkoNiva MO). P.O.Box 1 Nemchinovka-1 Moscow Region Russia 143013; 2) Interregional Union ofOrganic Agriculture ğEkoNivaĞ (EkoNiva MO). P.O. Box 1 Nemchinovka-1 MoscowRegion Russia 143013
|Situation in Russian agriculture at present
offers many difficult challenges, but it also offers a unique opportunity to encourage
agricultural production and processing that is based on ecological principles. We at
EkoNiva are working to support organic agriculture in Russia as the basis for overall
agricultural development and rural revival. One of EkoNiva's projects is to facilitate the
development of the organic flax and hemp fibre production as a viable alternative for
Russian agricultural enterprises. Flax and hemp are both traditional Russian crops, grown
extensively for use in fibre manufacturing and for other uses.
EkoNiva works intensively with groups of small-scale private farms and large former collective farms in Pskov Oblast - a traditional area for growing flax, and in Nizhny Novgorod and Kursk Oblast - traditional areas for growing hemp. EkoNiva acts as a consultant to these enterprises on the establishment of organic production and processing of both crops according to EkoNiva standards and EU-Regulation 2092/91. EkoNiva also provides certification to these farms and processing facilities. In 1995, EkoNiva inspected 119 ha of flax and 60 ha of hemp. The farms are still in transition, soon it will be possible to certify some of them. Special, localised techniques for processing flax and hemp have historically developed in ach of the different regions. Depending on the region, the processing may take place either on or off the farm. But in either case, the processing technologies yield long and short fibres, both of which are suitable for textile manufacturing. It is important that in these regions there are small-scale private processing facilities that have long-term, established working relationships with the local producers. This means that Russian producers and processors will be able to market not only organic raw materials, but also processed products like fibre and even textiles.