Agriculture had a share of 4.0% of GDP in 2017 and around 7% of the workforce work in it. The agriculturally used area comprises only 13.1% of the country’s area (224 million hectares) in terms of natural space and climate, of which 57% is arable land, 42% pastures and meadows and 1% fruit and wine-growing areas. Since the beginning of the agrarian reform in the early 1990s, the economic importance of Russian agriculture has suffered severe losses. The reasons for this are the poor progress made in reforms and the lack of capital.
After an independent peasantry had been completely eliminated in the course of the collectivization of agriculture (since 1928), since the beginning of 1992 it has been possible to lease land from kolkhozes for individual cultivation or to buy (since 2003), however, large farms are the main form of business. Agricultural holdings, which are created through the acquisition of agricultural businesses by investors from the processing and trading sectors, are increasingly developing. Private part-time farming (gardens, private fields and pastures) play an important role in the food supply.
In terms of production value, livestock breeding is more important than crop production. Its main branches are cattle (especially in the Volga region, in Central European Russia and in Western Siberia), pig (in the North Caucasus, in the Volga region, in the Central Black Earth Region) and sheep (in the Volga region, in North Caucasus and eastern Siberia) and poultry farming. Reindeer herding is practiced in the arctic north, and fur hunting and breeding is practiced in the north and east. More than half of the arable land is used for growing cereals (especially wheat), more than a third for fodder crops and the rest for other crops, especially sugar beets and sunflowers (both especially in the North Caucasus and in the central black earth region), flax (in the central and in the north-western European part), potatoes (especially in the central European part) and vegetables; the fruit and wine-growing areas are mainly in the North Caucasus. The most productive grain-growing areas are the region Krasnodar and the Rostov and Stavropol regions in southern Russia.
Forestry: With around 8.2 million km 2, according to Educationvv, Russia has the largest forest areas in the world, which corresponds to 49% of the total area of the country. According to official information, logging has fallen sharply since 1990 (304 million m 3) and amounted to 206 million m 3 (2015). In Siberia, numerous foreign companies have received logging concessions in recent years. Decades of large-scale deforestation, for example in the Arkhangelsk region, have caused serious ecological damage to the taiga. Catastrophic forest fires also destroyed around 30,000 km² of forest in the summer of 2019.
Fisheries: In 2016, 4.76 million tonnes of fish were landed (mainly salmon, saithe, flatfish, cod). The sturgeon stocks in the Caspian Sea, which are used for caviar extraction, have decreased dramatically. The most important locations of the fishing industry are to be found in the Far East; Over 50% of the catches come from the Khabarovsk and Primorye regions as well as from Kamchatka and Sakhalin. Important fishing regions in the European part of the country are the Astrakhan (on the Caspian Sea), Murmansk (on the Barents Sea) and Kaliningrad (Baltic Sea) areas.
In the climatically moderate European part of the country there are still numerous similarities with the fauna of Central Europe, while the fauna of Siberia differs more and more from this towards the east. However, there are also great differences between the arctic-boreal fauna of the north, that of the continental-subtropical deserts and steppes of the south and the fauna of the high mountains. Among the residents of the Arctic zone, the tundras, and extensive boreal coniferous forests, the mammals, of which hoofed animals and predators are arguably best known, are particularly noticeable. The latter include e.g. B. polar and brown bear, wolf, wolverine and lynx, but also various smaller species that are important as fur animals such as arctic fox and mink and sable.
Among the ungulates, the large, mostly semi-wild herds of reindeer stand out, but the rare musk ox, elk and deer also occur here. The most famous rodents of the arctic tundras are the lemmings, which are conspicuous due to their mass migrations. Various seals live on the North Siberian coasts, including: the walrus; also whales, B. the white whale (Beluga) or the peculiar narwhal with the twisted “horn” of the males up to 2.5 m long. Many other whale species live on the Pacific coast, among others. Steller sea lion and sea otter.
A completely different animal world can be found in the south of the country: antelopes live in the steppes like the original saiga; Camels and dromedaries are kept as pets in the Asian part. Leopards are still relatively widespread in the Asian south, but live in southeastern Siberia, among others. still a few of the endangered Siberian tigers and the original musk deer related to the deer.
Characteristic for high mountains like the Altai are z. B. Ibex (Thar) and marmots, also snow leopards still occur.
Lake Baikal, which has been isolated for a long time, is home to a particularly large number of endemic species; here lives z. B. the baikal seal.
The subarctic and arctic coasts in particular offer habitat for millions of birds (e.g. petrels, seagulls, terns, alks, guillemots, ducks and geese, waders). The endangered snow crane (Grus leucogeranus) deserves a special mention; Birds of prey are represented with numerous species (e.g. eagles, vultures, falcons, including the sucker falcon).
The reptiles are very species-rich, especially in the Caucasus region. Different parthenogenetic lizards represent a special feature, i. H. they reproduce exclusively through virgin generation. Especially on the Pacific coasts, the migration of countless salmon to their spawning grounds offers a unique natural spectacle of the fish fauna. The occurrence of various species of sturgeon in the country’s major river systems (caviar production) are of great economic importance.