The Rostov region is one of the largest agricultural regions of the Russian Federation.
About 4.2 million people live on the territory of 100 thousand square kilometers, one third -
1.4 million people resides in rural areas.
The main wealth of the region is its soil. The region lies on common, southern black soils and chestnut soils. In the general composition of lands, black soil takes 64,2% with average thickness of fertile soil layer 40 – 80 cm.
Agricultural lands make 8.2 mln hectares and farm fields – 5.8 mln ha, including 228 thousand hectares of irrigated arable lands. The share of the Rostov region in total Russian agricultural area is 3.9%. In terms of farm field areas and areas in grain crops the region takes 2nd place in Russia, in terms of soil fertility – 10th place among other regions of the Russian Federation. Soil and climate conditions in the region even despite draught periods are favorable for agricultural products.
1.7 thousand agricultural organizations, 12.9 thousand farms and, 2 thousand individual enterprises and 547 thousand individual plots are engaged in agricultural production.
There are 6 main natural agricultural areas in the Rostov region:
- North-West area concentrates on stock and pig-breeding, with developed grain production, comprises 9 districts: Verkhnedonskoy, Sholokhovskiy, Bokovskiy, Chertkovskiy, Millerovskiy, Kasharskiy, Tarasovskiy, Kamenskiy, Krasnosulinskiy.
- North-East area specializes in stock and grain production with developed pig-breeding and poultry-breeding, includes 9 districts: Morozovskiy, Milyutinskiy, Oblivskiy, Tatsinskiy, Konstantinovskiy, Belokalitvinskiy, Tsimlyanskiy, Sovetskiy and Ust-Donetskiy districts.
- Central irrigated area concentrates on stock breeding and vegeculture with developed vine-growing and rice-growing, comprises 6 districts: Volgodonskoy, Martynovskiy, Proletarskiy, Semikarakorskiy, Bagayevskiy, Veselovskiy.
- Near-Azov area, which is characterized by developed urban farms and unites 8 districts: Matveyevo-Kurganskiy, Kuybyshevskiy, Myasnikovskiy, Oktyabrskiy, Azovskiy, Aksayskiy, Rodionovo-Nesvetayskiy and Neklinovskiy.
- South area specializes in grain and stock production with developed pig-breeding, includes 6 districts: Kagalnitskiy, Zernogradskiy, Yegorlykskiy, Tselinskiy, Salskiy and Peschanokopskiy.
- Eastern area with sheep breeding, grain production and developed beef cattle breeding comprises 5 districts: Orlovskiy, Zimovnikovskiy, Remontnenskiy, Dubovskiy and Zavetninskiy.
Rostov region stands among leaders of Russia in grain and sunflower yield. The most perspective branches of regional agricultural complex are pond fish production, livestock and vegetable production, processing of agricultural products with further supply to consumers.
Rostov region produces about 20% of the total agricultural output of the Southern federal district.
Crop farming takes more than 65% of gross agricultural output of the region. It develops due to increasing level of farming culture, introduction of energy-efficient technologies, new kinds and hybrids of grains, oil crops, as well as increased efficiency of agricultural land use.
Grain production has a foremost importance in crop-growing sector. In terms of grain crop growing the region takes 3rd place in Russia. About 67% of cultivated lands is occupied by grain crops. Main grain is winter wheat. Other crops include spring barley, corn, millet, rice, buckwheat, pea and soy. Main industrial crop is sunflower. Average annual yield of grain is about 6 – 7 mln tons and of sunflower up to 1.5 tons.
Rostov region provides grain and sunflower oil to the northern regions and industrial centers of the country. Besides, it is the largest exporter of agricultural products and processed products. More than 4 mln tons of grain and 300 thousand tons of sunflower oil are exported every year to external market.
Rostov region offers favorable conditions for development of fruit- and vine-growing. Fertile soils, warm climate and irrigation ensure all the necessary factors for the growth of fruits and grapes of all sorts and kinds.
Livestock breeding has always been developed in the Don agriculture. The region specializes in milk and meat cattle breeding, pig and sheep, horse and poultry-growing.
The region is also famous in fisheries sector. Azov Sea, large water reservoirs (Tsimlyanskoye and Manych), rivers, lakes and ponds are rich in fish.
Food and processing industries take 1st place among manufacturing activities and make more than 28% of overall industrial output.
More than 200 large and medium enterprises, more than 100 small business enterprises operate in this sector. For the exception of sugar, production of all brunches of food and processing industries is manufactured in the Rostov region.
The assortment range of food and processing industry enterprises comprises over 2000 items of food products, including 500 items which are produces in compliance with European standards.