In a speech given to Russian Parliament last week, President Vladimir Putin announced his intention to be the world’s biggest supplier of “ecologically clean and high-quality food” and criticized GMO food production in western countries even though demand for organic food has soared exponentially in recent years.
“We are not only able to feed ourselves taking into account our lands, water resources—Russia is able to become the largest world supplier of healthy, ecologically clean and high-quality food which the Western producers have long lost, especially given the fact that demand for such products in the world market is steadily growing,” he said.
Putin also said that in the last decade, Russia has gone from importing half of its food to becoming a net exporter. Putin claims that Russia now makes more money from selling food than from selling weapons and fuel.
“Ten years ago, we imported almost half of the food from abroad, and were dependent on imports. Now Russia is among the exporters. Last year, Russian exports of agricultural products amounted to almost $20 billion—a quarter more than the revenue from the sale of arms, or one-third the revenue coming from gas exports,” he said.
The Russian president also wants the country to be completely self-sufficient in food production in less than five years.
“By 2020, Russia must provide itself with all food,” he said. “We need to cultivate the millions of acres now idle.”
The president suggested confiscating unused farmland and selling it to new owners willing to till it, according to another article from RT.