MOSCOW — RUSSIA is so short of grain that the republic announced Tuesday it will increase grain purchases from other countries by 25 percent this year while hoping to grow enough to meet its needs in two years.
Russia imported 16 million tons of grain in 1991, Agriculture Minister Viktor Khlyustun said, noting that "in 1992, we will have to import 20 million tons." (How North Dakota farmers have have provided aid, Page 9.)
The radical economic reform program being undertaken in Russia includes major land reforms designed to transform the vast system of collective farms into private farms. However, in a tacit acknowledgment that change doesn't come easy, recent Russian government land reform decrees also require farmers to continue the old Soviet practice of supplying a certain amount of their harvest to the state.
Mr. Khlyustun said the reforms being implemented were designed to develop a new agriculture infrastructure to make Russia self-sufficient by 1994.