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Abstract

A significant post-Soviet agricultural trend is the rise of super-large scale agroholdings. The emergence of these farming companies has occasioned a debate on whether such farms are economically and socially optimal: are they are more efficient than smaller scale farms, and are they squeezing out smaller producers from the market? In this debate, 'agroholding' is used as a blanket term covering a diversity of different types of farms. This was adequate when this trend was first emerging, but now it is increasingly inadequate to describe the many different types of farms with different orientations that are developing. With the purpose of better defining different kinds of large-scale farms in the former Soviet Union, we propose in this research to develop a critical and empirically grounded typology of different farm companies, differentiating farms according to degree and kind of integration (horizontal or vertical), main orientation (primary crop production or food processing), and origin of capital (foreign, local, stock market, private equity). These distinctions will help to distinguish more successful business models from less successful, provide greater understanding of recent trends in the agricultural sector in the region, and help understand the future role such farm organizations might have in food production.

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