Russians are being offered the chance of a lifetime in a multi-million-dollar private venture that gives them new homes, modern family farms and competitive pay. The project, called the New Russian Village, aims to revive Russia’s countryside by funding a collection of privately run single-owner farms.
The village is equipped with webcams so that the farmers can determine what’s happening on their land at any given time. Recruits do not have to have farm experience, but they must complete a probationary period of six months before signing a contract for 10 years. Those who are chosen can earn up to $1,000 a month, and become outright owners of their house and farm within the decade.
The first phase of construction is complete, with 24 houses and 24 livestock farms. “Not many people believe it’s for real. However, there is a huge competition to get a place here,” pig farmer Aleksandr told a reporter. “I was lucky to get chosen.” Yury Schevchenko, the co-investor and manager behind the $170-million project, says there were 19,000 applicants for the first 150 slots. He hopes to change the usual production model by cutting out retailers so the farmers sell directly to the public and keep more of the profit. Over the coming years, he hopes to expand the village to several hundred farms.