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Breadbasket of Argis


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Agriculture in Baltica

Agriculture has been one of the largest and most prominent Industries within Baltica since its inception. In total, it supplies almost a ⅕ of all jobs within the nation and contributes to over 18% of Balticas Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Additionally, agricultural goods make up over 38% of all Baltican exports, which are largely made up of both processed and non-processed grain and cereal exports, as well as dairy, meat, vegetables and fruits. Although farming in Baltica has historically been mostly privately owned and operated, in recent years there has been large amounts of Nationalisation, which has resulted in the rise of many state (and Republic owned) agricultural companies, such as AGRICOM, Balticas current largest Agricultural company. Balticas mountainous interior is made up of the expansive Kunijan Mountains, and the land within these mountains and hills is very sandy and poor for agricultural exploitation. As such, farming within the nation has mainly been centred around three areas, this being the “Western growing Area”, primarily around the Balandeli river, which runs through a majority of the Republic of Raskia. This area, however, does also stretch to the Republic of Kauni, specifically around the highly fertile Weva river basin. However, in Balticas East, where the climate is considerably warmer and less humid, many traditional “Mediterranean crops' ' such as tomatoes, figs, almonds and grapes are grown in high quantities. This is largely due to the Liplan River, the largest river that runs entirely in Baltica. This river has been the historic centre of Baltica, and where most of its Agricultural production was centred around. Lastly, there is the “Southern Growing Area” more often referred to as just the “Vitsee Plateau”. Here a series of canals constructed in the late 19th century provide irrigation to much of the region, making it one of the few areas capable of commercial exploitation within the Litaush Peninsula which has historically not been able to support large-scale agriculture. Although many other regions of Baltica (Such as the Wensal River and Delubian Lake) are also large producers of Agricultural goods, they wave in comparison to the Western, Eastern and Southern growing areas. 

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(Map of the Baltican growing Zones. Blue: Western Growing Area, Orange: Eastern Growing Area and Green: Southern Growing Area)

Western Growing Area

As mentioned before, the Western Growing Area mostly lies within the Republic of Raskia and Kauni. It is the largest so-called “Growing Area” and is highly focused around the Balandeli and Weva rivers. Cultivation of these lands began almost immediately after they were annexed by the Kingdom of Baltica, and ever since they have been receiving major investments which have made it into the breadbasket of Baltica. For the most part, most farmers within the region typically owned large farming estates, and as such had very high yields. Animal husbandry was also very popular in the region, especially towards the more hilly north, where large numbers of Highland cows were often herded. However, nowadays most Agriculture is overseen by the Central Government via AGRICOM or the “Agricultural Community”. AGRICOM came about during the Baltican Civil War, during which a majority of the farms around Weva were seized by the Kauni Military Government to ensure their protection and to fairly distribute produce. After the war, this land was planned to be privatised again, but the Central Government hoped for the opportunity to snatch up the land, and formed a central company (AGRICOM) to oversee various land holdings throughout the Republic of Kauni. Later on, AGRICOM would expand heavily into the Republic of Raskia, primarily through the government Land Exchange Scheme, where farmers would be able to sell their land to the Central Government (This practice became increasingly popular as Raskian became the main economic region of Baltica), which lead to AGRICOM essentially becoming the largest Agricultural company in Baltica. Over 37% of all grain and cereal production in the Republic of Raskia, and over 48% of all production in Kauni are overseen by AGRICOM. 

 

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(AGRICOM Balticas largest Agricultural Company, established in May of 2022)

 

Although AGRICOM wins by share scale, in reality, much of the land it holds is considered to be the “worse of the worse”, in essence, most farmers that chose to participate in the Land Exchange scheme sold off their worse plots or plots that were small and underdeveloped, and AGRICOM is in process of raising funds for large scale mechanisation as well as training and education for its farmers and workers to improve its yields and potentially access the international market. AGRICOM has been somewhat controversial for its employment of many displaced war refugees of the civil war, many arguing that they are taking advantage of them by offering low wages and long working hours, although this in reality only applies to very few of AGRICOM operated farms (the practice of employing war refugees is actually most popular among private farmers). The most commonly grown crops within much of the Western Growing Zone remain grains and cereals, mainly wheat and in some regions corn (maize), although corn production is done mostly in Kauni, where it's also grown as an animal feed. Besides grain and cereals, various other crops are also grown, such as sugar beads, rye, oats, potatoes. Other crops like carrots and lettuce are also grown in the region.

Although the West was once well known for its large numbers of livestock, trends in recent years have resulted in the Raskia and Kauni having considerably less livestock than they did before 1895, as most livestock farming has since moved to Klenai. Among the few pastures within the west that remain, the large majority of them ever house cattle, pigs or chickens which are seen as most commercially viable within the domestic Baltican market. Dairy has similarly been neglected in the region, although AGRICOM specifically wishes to expand dairy production in Raskia by 150% by the year 2025. 

 

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(Wheat farm in Raskia)

 

Eastern Growing Zone

The Eastern Growing Zone is largely centred around the Liplan River that runs through much of the Northern part of the Republic of Liplan-Kretin. As mentioned previously it was once the main agricultural region of Baltican, and as such has seen wide-scale investment and development, having various irrigation networks and multiple fertiliser production facilities (Almost 75% of all Fertilizer within Baltica is produced within Kretia province, and 45% of those fertilisers end up being used by farmers along the Liplan), which has led to farms around it having the highest yield per square acre in Baltica. Unlike the West Growing Zone, which is much more humid and temperate, the Liplan and Eastern and Southern Baltica in general are much more humid, being classified as Mediterranean Climate Zone. As such, the crops grown in the region are very different to that of the West, with much more focus being placed on commercial and export-focused produce, although grains (primarily wheat) are also grown in small amounts in some regions. However, the primary crops grown in the Eastern Growing Zone include vegetables like tomatoes and olives (Baltica is a lead producer of Olive, olive oil and other olive-based products such as canned olives, pickled olives and flavoured olives) as well citrus fruits like tangerines and oranges as well other fruits like figs and grapes.

Additionally, unlike the West, the Baltican East also processes a large majority of its agricultural goods. Many consumer goods companies are located within Liplan-Kretin and produce a variety of goods utilising locally grown produce. Some of the most common processed goods include the likes of condiments and sauces, primarily tomato sauce and garlic sauce. Additionally, many fruits are processed into juices and pickling in Baltica is especially popular, even more so along the Liplan than in any other region of Baltica. Many of these goods are enjoyed domestically, although with the end of the civil war, and the removal of red tape and barriers of entry, Baltican consumer good producers, such as Vikingas (Currently one of the largest supermarket retailers within Liplan-Kretin) have been looking for ways to expand their operations internationally. Many hope that this new era of openness and increased business activity can create the right conditions for the expansion of Baltican firms throughout Argis.

 

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(Olive farm in Kretia Region)

Southern Growing Zone

The Southern Growing Zone is the smallest out of the growing zones, and also produces by far the smallest yield. The Southern Growing Zone largely came about in the late 19th and early 20th century, with the construction of multiple canals and irrigation projects which diverted various rivers from central Litauisch to the Vitsee plateau. This created a rare area in Baltica that was prime for cotton farming, not exactly enough to be commercially viable for exporting, but enough to support the local textile trade. However, during the Second civil war, this region would undergo a thorough change, especially with the invasion of the Northern Baltican Federation. The Vitsee plateau would be ravaged, and in its place, criminals and paramilitaries moved into the area and established the largest illegal drug operation in Baltican history. Poppies, tobacco and marijuana all became commonly grown in the plateau, making the people in charge of this short-term operation rich! But as Dokestva finally surrendered, the army moved into the plateau and it was unwillingly returned to the Republic of Dokestva. Despite suggestions from both the Central Government and other Republics, the local Dokestvan authorities did not clear these various illegal farms, instead choosing to pick up from where the paramilitaries had started. 

Marijuana farms were expanded heavily, whilst tobacco plantations were pushed out. Most importantly, however, poppy farms were prioritised, primarily for the production of opium which was then sold to Baltican pharmaceutical companies. How long this operation will be allowed remains a question of debate among both the governments and republics, but in the meantime, the Vitsee plateau will remain Balticas opium capital

 

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(Poppy field in the Vitsee plateau)

 

Fertiliser Market

To support its massive agricultural sector, the Baltican government during the 80s-90s oversaw the rapid development and expansion of fertiliser production across the entirety of the nation. In many cities, the development of fertiliser would provide needed high-paying jobs and advanced labour, and would heavily aid in the development of nowadays, Balticas largest Industrial hubs such as Kretia, Nava Jural and Ramutia. Various companies such as BalFiz (Baltican Fertilizer Plant) are Balticas largest fertiliser producers, contributing to 18% of all fertilisers in Baltica. Almost all fertilisers produced in Baltica are NPK fertilisers, meaning they contain equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, all of which are produced domestically in Baltica. A considerable amount of phosphorus in Baltica is mined from the Kunijan mountains or imported from neighbouring Baltica, whilst potassium is both mined (The largest natural potassium deposit in Baltica is situated in Klenai, and over 48% of potassium in Baltica is obtained from the said deposit), or “cultivated” via potash evaporation ponds, of which only two exist, one in Kretuna near Kretia and another in Nuglente near Lake Zeman. Currently, the Baltican fertiliser market is at a large surplus, making about double of what is demanded within the Baltican Economy. However, this is both done intentionally to keep the price of domestic fertilisers low, but also now that the economy is beginning to liberalise, possibly allowing for the export of Baltican fertilisers to the Argis and maybe even the glubal market. 

Consumer Goods Market

Similar to the fertiliser market, the growth of regional and national consumer goods companies, specialising in refined and processed agricultural goods can be attributed to the emerging economy of the Baltican Republic. Unlike many nations, in Baltica this market is much more decentralised, with a considerably larger number of smaller firms operating within the market, with no extremely large national firms having enough market share to operate as a market leader. This has resulted in the consumer goods market being one of the most competitive, again, more so than many others across Argis. Some of the most popular consumer goods in Baltica include but are not limited to

 

-Pickled Foodstuffs: Pickling has been a popular practice in Baltica since the late mediaeval ages, and even today the demand for pickled goods is extremely high. Due to many electrical shortages, and subpar refrigeration, pickled goods have become ever more popular in Baltica. 

-Smoked Meats: Similar to pickled foodstuffs, smoked meats are also very popular in Baltica. Both cold smoke and hot smoke meats can be commonly found, being sold by either smaller local supplies or larger national retailers. 

-Tinned Goods: Tinned Goods (Food packaged in sealed cans) are common through Baltica due to the previously mentioned lack of refrigeration and regular electrical shortages. 

-Fizzy Drinks: Despite what many believe, fizzy or carbonated drinks are very popular in Baltica, and there are a large variety of fizzy drinks sold throughout the nation. The current most popular brand is Zuba-Cola. 

-Processed Grains: As is expected, Baltica produces a substantial amount of processed grains, more so to them being cheaper than producing whole grain products. Despite this, however, whole grain products are still popular.

 

With further investments into capital and access to international partners, it is expected that this industry can grow to become one of Balticas largest!

 

 

 

Edited by Baltica
Fixed some spacing and Images (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

Trucking through the Liplan

Unlike its counterpart regions in the South and West, Kretia has seen some of the most damage during the civil war. A combination of heavy fighting as well aerial bombing by the Velaherian forces has had a heavy impact on not only the urban cities of Kretia region, but its rural communities as well. One of the things hit hardest by the war is transportation within the region, most notably its rail and port connections. As a result this has left many rural communities isolated and cut off from crucial supplies as well as inevitably making it harder for these communities to transport their products (primarily agricultural, dairy and meat based goods) to the urban communities. Balticas almost 70 year long car ban has led to a huge lack of both paved and unpaved roads among these communities as well as a greater lack of trucks and semi trucks to transport goods between them. However, the Central Government has decided to break the 70 year precedence set out by the former Republic of Baltica, and has decided to invest in crucial road infrastructure among its rural communities, under the planned “Liplan Scheme'', which aims to connect all the agricultural and dairy communities of the greater Liplan Basin. The new road network will be split into two main routes, the Northern R-1 and a Southern R-10, both of which will lead into larger rail and port facilities. Much of the scheme is focused on revitalising the once large city of Kretia, formerly Balticas second largest city (In wake of the war it has become Balticas fourth largest city, having been overtaken by Kauni and Sveaja) by reviving its large food processing and port service based economy. But before any of this can begin, the crucial logistics that make up the heart of any economy must be in place. 

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(Map of the "Liplan Scheme". The Green Route represents the R-1 whilst the Red Route represents the R -10. Blue dots highlight the Inland river port cities, whilst the Red dot shows Kretia, the largest city along the Liplan river and the primary export city of the East.)

One problem with the Liplan Scheme is the lack of domestic vehicle production within Baltica, as the lack of roads and the subsequent car ban has killed any emerging industries that existed in the early 60s, and none have risen in the wake since. Thus in a president not really seen in Baltica, the Baltian Ministry of Transport (BMT) along with the Central Government have decided to instead import a large amount of vehicles, primarily trucks and semi trucks, from its Argis neighbours. The particularly large auto Industries of both @Ahrana and @Hinterlands have been eyed up the BMT who as a result has published an official request for 350 class 6 medium duty transport trucks as well as a further 100 class 7 and 8 heavy cargo trucks. The smaller trucks are planned to be deployed along the much more hilly and rougher Northern R-1 whilst the more heavy duty trucks will be kept near large urban centres and generally easier and better R-10 southern route. Many mark this as another large step for the revitalisation of the Baltican Agricultural sector, which is evolving to become Balticas most advanced domestic Industry...


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(Sample letter of the Baltican Ministry of Transport distributed to Hinterian and Ahranian producers.)

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