The federal commission established to bring about the financial renaissance of Russia's ailing agricultural sector unveiled sweeping new plans on Wednesday for restructuring the debt of at least 10,000 of the country's insolvent farms. "Our goal is that all these farms ... will start the restructuring next year," Agriculture Minister Alexey Gordeyev said after the commission's first meeting. "But the whole process will take up to 10 years or even longer."
The commission was set up to put into practice the law on the financial revival of agricultural producers, which was passed in the summer. There is a lot to revive - an estimated 45 percent of the country's farms are unprofitable, according to Agriculture Ministry statistics. Gordeyev said that the commission had approved the general outlines of the restructuring plan, which included a minimum of five years' debt vacation and four years for restructuring the main debt, the St. Petersburg Times reported.