A socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions, congress, exhibitions, business, social and sporting, public, and cultural events.

The Roscongress Foundation is a socially oriented non-financial development institution and a major organizer of international conventions; exhibitions; and business, public, sporting, and cultural events. It was established in pursuance of a decision by the President of the Russian Federation.

The Foundation was established in 2007 with the aim of facilitating the development of Russia’s economic potential, promoting its national interests, and strengthening the country’s image. One of the roles of the Foundation is to comprehensively evaluate, analyse, and cover issues on the Russian and global economic agendas. It also offers administrative services, provides promotional support for business projects and attracting investment, and helps foster social entrepreneurship and charitable initiatives.

Each year, the Foundation’s events draw participants from 208 countries and territories, with more than 15,000 media representatives working on-site at Roscongress’ various venues. The Foundation benefits from analytical and professional expertise provided by 5000 people working in Russia and abroad. In addition, it works in close cooperation with 163 economic partners; industrialists’ and entrepreneurs’ unions; and financial, trade, and business associations from 75 countries worldwide.

The Roscongress Foundation has Telegram channels in Russian (t.me/Roscongress), English (t.me/RoscongressDirect), and Spanish (t.me/RoscongressEsp). Official website and Information and Analytical System of the Roscongress Foundation: roscongress.org.

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29 August 2019

The great land giveaway


MIKHAIL UTROBIN
THE 31-YEAR-OLD FROM KHABAROVSK GAVE UP HIS JOB IN SENIOR MANAGEMENT AT A MAJOR NATIONWIDE SPORTS RETAIL CHAIN TO START FARMING.

"Three years ago, I had this idea to build a house, but then I realized that the land should also be used to feed people. My decision was influenced by a statistic I saw: the region provided no more than 8–10% of the dairy products it consumed. So, I got into farming. I had five criteria in mind when choosing a plot of land: it had to be close to Khabarovsk, there had to be electricity, water, a good road, and of course, it had to be in a beautiful location. Me and my wife got into the car, and started looking for just such a hectare. «As I was starting out, I got a great deal of help from a regional programme run by the Ministry of Agriculture. They gave me RUB 3 million, which allowed me to start building roads, clear the land, draw in more power, and build a cowshed and cabins for workers. What’s more, a special state programme allowed me to get a refund on part of the money spent on purchasing cattle. By December, my cows had calves, and started giving milk. Over time we began to expand our range to the more than 20 products we offer today, from cream and cottage cheese, to ice cream!

«For most farmers, the hardest part is selling their products. That wasn’t an issue for me, though. I use my Instagram account for advertising, so most of my customers are locals who bring their families. I don’t work with middlemen, such as retail outlets or large supermarket chains, which means my prices are lower than what others offer.».


DARIA POZDNYAKOVA
DARIA, FROM KAMCHATKA, USED HER LAND TO_OPEN A HORSE_RIDING CLUB.

"I’ve been working with horses for more than 15 years. My family acquired our first hectare back in 2016 with the specific intention to work with animals. Now we have three. We have used our land to build horse enclosures and gazebos for tourists. We have also organized areas for people to have barbeques. We have done everything to ensure our guests can enjoy the fresh air as much as possible, both in the summer, and winter. While we are not a fullyfledged riding school, we do have a professional instructor on our team who can teach the basics to beginners.

«We took a very meticulous approach when choosing our hectare. Before submitting our first application, we visited and examined each plot, pinpointed each location on the map, and gained an idea of the landscape we could expect. We needed the land to be more or less flat, with a nearby electric power network. And that’s the plot of land we got. We dealt with all the uneven areas ourselves, and recently got connected to the electric grid network at a discounted rate: instead of paying several million roubles, the cost came to just RUB 50,000.

«We’ve had to invest around RUB 4 million in developing our business. Today, three years on, it pays for itself. We have enough to feed the horses and dogs, and to pay our workers. Our client base is currently big enough, so we’re in no rush to work with tour companies. We have people visiting from all over Russia, including from Moscow. That said, most of our visitors are locals from Kamchatka. Several of them come regularly with their families. Those guests even have their favourite horses.»





ILYA KUCHEROV
ILYA, FROM YUZHNO SAKHALINSK, BUILT A SPORTS CAMP FOR CHILDREN ON THE ISLAND OF KUNASHIR PART OF THE GREATER KURIL CHAIN.

«I’ve done karate my entire life. After finishing my studies in Moscow, I moved to Yuzhno-Kurilsk and helped my father coach children. Several of them had already won competitions in Russia, as well as prizes in international tournaments. I decided to sign up for the Far Eastern Hectare programme to build a military-patriotic camp for children. It’s been running since 2016, and is based near a well-known thermal spring not far from the settlement of Goryachy Plyazh in Kunashir. We have two hectares now, with four houses and a canteen for the children. We’ll also be adding a bathhouse this summer. Children have been coming here and having fun for several years now.



«Building the camp was a team effort, involving ourselves, our young athletes, and their parents. I don’t make any money from the camp, it’s purely a social undertaking. It is my belief that developing and raising the next generation in a way that promotes patriotism and a healthy lifestyle is one of the most important tasks for the entire country. Unfortunately, all current forms of government support for participants in this programme focus on helping business and agricultural ventures. There is nothing for the social sector. Without drawing upon support of this kind, we are unable to sort out numerous
general issues and start using the camp to train for national and international championships beyond the summer period.»



THE NEW INITIATIVE WORKS!

INTERVIEW WITH SERGEI KHOVRAT, GENERAL DIRECTOR OF THE AGENCY FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN CAPITALI IN THE FAR EAST

Where do most applications for a Far Eastern Hectare come from?

Most applications — around 83% — for a FarEastern Hectare come from people already living in the Far East. These people know their land, understand its features, and have a good idea of what to use it for. They don’t need to spend money to relocate, and can immediately take advantage of support offered in the region. As for those currently living outside the Far East, most applications come from people in Moscow and Moscow Region. These account for one in four applications. We also have several applicants from St. Petersburg, Krasnodar Territory, Leningrad Region, Sverdlovsk Region, and Irkutsk Region. In terms of the overall portrait of hectare recipients, 60% of applicants are male, and 40% are female. We are seeing most interest in the programme from people aged between 25 and 45.

How are people using the land provided to them?

People build homes for themselves and farm the land. Some recipients plan to use it for tourism, while others plan to open shops or cafes.



Presumably the agency stays in contact with participants in the programme. What difficulties do they most frequently encounter, and what assistance do you provide?

Currently the most pressing issue is the provision of infrastructure, including electricity and roads. These incur substantial costs for the individual, and for the region. A decision was taken recently on supporting citizen groups, or agglomerations, at these hectares. A government programme focusing on socioeconomic development in the Far East and Baikal Region provides co-financing from the federal budget to build infrastructure for these agglomerations. RUB 319 million has been allocated for this in Khabarovsk Territory, and a further RUB 82.1 million in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). It will be possible to provide additional funding once the National Development Programme for the Far East — which includes a section on Far Eastern hectares — is approved and adopted.

Another difficulty encountered by participants who are looking to develop their land is funding. We encourage these people to find out about the types of government support available to them. These have been collated and published on the programme’s official website (nadalniyvostok.ru), where they can be viewed by region. They are also available on the Agency for the Development of Human Capital in the Far East’s website. To date, almost 2,000 land recipients have taken advantage of government support totalling around RUB 580 million. These include subsidies to support livestock farming at smallholdings, grants to support agricultural plots, the Beginner Farmer grant, incentives for timber, and subsidies to support small businesses.

Development of this programme is an ongoing process, and new measures are being implemented to support participants. Today, for example, around 42% of all land recipients plan to build a home. Plans are in place to launch a programme by the end of this year especially for this group, whereby mortgages will be provided at an unprecedented low rate of interest — just 2%. A repayment period of up to 20 years will be offered at 2% annual interest, with no down payment required. A decision was taken to expand the programme beyond the Far Eastern Federal District to cover the Republic of Buryatia and Transbaikal Territory. From 1 August, people officially residing in these two regions will be able to submit an application for a plot of land.


EEF 2017 included a presentation of the Far Eastern Hectare programm

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