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Imagine what it would be like to collect research data on 210 million acres. Data collection on this scale currently takes place in Russia. During the past 10 years, Russia’s cultivated area has decreased by almost one-third. Nevertheless, crop areas in Russia take the leading position in the world.

As one can imagine, market research is a difficult task in such an enormous country, because of the country’s extremely different climatic zones and size.

Before "perestroyka" - which led away from communism to privatisation - all information concerning the situation of agricultural business was accumulated by the state. A planned economy meant no need for marketing research in the USSR, as no changes were possible.

The new political and economic situation created demands new views and ways of gathering real market information. KLEFFMANN took on this task in 1995 and is currently the leader of agricultural surveys in Russia.

The Future

Market surveys give insight to future trends in the Russian agricultural industry. For instance, crop protection use by farmers stands at 45 percent, meaning less than half of the cultivated land area is treated with crop protection chemicals - a promising market for crop protection manufacturers. The concentration of marketing efforts in Russia is an important topic for marketers, who are faced with covering an overwhelming land area.

Panel research opens the opportunity to gather qualitative information, including attitudes toward the changes in Russia and their implications in agriculture. Before 1998 most farmers (more than 60 percent) thought there was no future in agricultural business in Russia. Today, they say the future is in improved farm management and more investment in their farming operations, along with expanding their production capabilities. AM

Elena Alekperova is manager of client service at KLEFFMANN Russia, Moscow, Russia. KLEFFMANN, a marketing/market research firm headquartered in Lüdinghausen, Germany, works in cooperation with Milllennium Research, Inc., Apple Valley, Minn., USA. Visit KLEFFMANN at

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