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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Farmers Plan New City Market

The first Moscow market reserved for Russian farmers is scheduled to open on April 10 near the Kashirskaya metro station in an attempt to counter high prices and organized crime's control of city rynki, indoor markets.

"All approaches to market trade in Moscow have been blocked for common Russian peasants", said Konstantin Mezentsev, director of the Moscow department of the Russian Association of Farmers and Peasant Cooperatives, the new market's owner.

Anatoly Grigoryev, who is in charge of the farmer's market operations, said the prices will be 20 to 30 percent lower than other city markets. Working with municipal officials, Mezentsev said the farmer's cooperative has managed to prevent mafia efforts to start trading in the new market. "It took some time", he said, "but it seems that we have convinced them to leave us alone".

"We had one of our people killed", he added, but declined to give details since the case is under investigation.

Russia's 214, 000 registered private farms, 80 percent of which are members of the fanner's cooperative, have had difficulty selling their products in the capital, leading the association to set up its own market for members.

The association signed a contract in September with the Moscow Southern Municipal District for a 10-year lease of 0. 6 hectares of land next to the Kashirskaya metro stop, on the green line three stations south of the circle line, said Yekaterina Kurskaya, the district's consumer market specialist.

Grigoryev said the farmers can either sell their products to the market or rent space there as private vendors. As over 15 such markets already successfully function throughout Russia, Grigoryev said that the new venture would undoubtedly bring profits. Under the agreement with the city, 10 percent of those will go to the Southern Municipal District, Kurskaya said.

Alexander Kartyshov, head of the Nagatino-Sadovniki Municipal Area, said that he was glad to lease this land to the farmers instead of a spontaneous flea-market that has been flourishing on that spot for 3 years.

The market management will use its own security service consisting mostly of retired militia men and soldiers. A permanent laboratory will operate there to test all incoming food items for poisonous chemicals and radioactivity. Besides, Grigoryev said that no merchandise will be admitted without proper certification.