The article studies the transformation processes of personal subsidiary household plots held by the rural population of Russia during the time that followed the beginning of market reforms. Based on the critical interpretation of the data provided by the two All-Russian agricultural censuses, changes in the scale of activity, in the volume of production, and in the specialization of personal subsidiary household plots in different regions of Siberia are identified over the period 2006–2016. In order to study individual local cases, material from in-depth interviews obtained from heads and specialists of rural administrations, as well as from members of family farms in Tomsk, Tyumen, and Novosibirsk oblasts, is used. The author compares the results obtained by a quantitative analysis of the statistical data and conclusions following from a qualitative sociological study of local cases, not only from the standpoint of identifying the long-term trends but also possible information distortions of an institutional nature. As the basic hypothesis of the study, we assume the absence of a common trend for all regions characterizing the processes of the transformation of personal subsidiary household plots and the significant influence of the agrarian policy pursued by the state and local authorities, as well as the specific local factors. The conclusions drawn by the author generally confirm this hypothesis. In the quarter of a century since the start of market reforms, the sector of rural subsidiary household farming has undergone significant changes. On the one hand, its volumes have noticeably decreased, and it has lost its former leading position in the production structure. On the other hand, it has become more diverse and is represented by a spectrum from a small family garden to a mini-farm using hired labor. At the same time, in certain cases, state support can lead to a deterioration in the economic situation of family farms. Qualitative conclusions of the study can be useful for substantiating measures aimed at sustainable development of rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-573
Number of pages12
JournalRegional Research of Russia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • agricultural census
  • market reforms
  • personal subsidiary household plots
  • rural areas
  • Siberia




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