Disappearing Crops: A Case Study of Flax in the Province of Kostroma
Russia used to be the world's premier producer of flax. The country's flax-growing band stretched from the provinces of Pskov and Novgorod eastward. In the province of Kostroma, one of Russia's traditional flax-growing regions, flax fibre yield is the '90s has been 2-4 centners/ha and the non-labor production costs per hectare, including application of four or five required fertilizers, are twice as high as for a field of grain. In the 18th century Peter the Great implanted state-owned flax-processing factories in the Central Industrial region: in the provinces of Moscow, Yaroslavl, Vladimir, and Kostroma. The province of Kostroma is located at the crossroads between three macro-economic regions of Russia: the Industrial Center, the North, and Volgo-Viatka. Kostroma has sundry local problems that are typical for Central Russia. However, one of the peculiarities of the province is that only 38% of the economically active rural population works in agriculture.