- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
239

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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FROM SUMAROKOVA TO YENISEISK
239
but ram instead. At 6 a.m. wc went on through much
the same flat wooded country as before, to the north of
Sumarokova, except that the height of the land varied
a little more, with quite low, rounded ridges. There
were also more and more meadows to be seen along the
bank, with hay in stacks.
Wc are beginning gradually to come into the agri
eultural region now, but it seems to me that for a long
way to the north the conditions must be good, if not
for agriculture, at any rate for cattle-raising and dairy
farming. There is splendid deep soil, rich in mould, and if
the forest were cleared and the land brought under the
plough, it would certainly give a good yield ; besides
grass, root-crops thrive well for a great distance to the
north, and in any case the kind of farming that wc
see in our Norwegian mountain-valleys might be carried
on here with great advantage, when once the land was
cleared ; but that is of course the difficulty. The
forest has no value, or so little that it does not pay to fell
it for the sake of timber. In the present conditions it
is and will be an enemy, which must be overcome in
order to provide pasture and room for cultivation. So
much labour is involved in cutting it down and get
ting rid of the roots, that it is doubtful whether it
would pay the man who did it, though the next genera
tion would always benefit. And the difficulty is in
creased in a country where the climate is not so
favourable that corn may be sown at once and yield a
return.
The forest belongs to the State, and there is no
difficulty in getting grants of whatever land one may
require for cultivation or for clearing. But it cannot
be expected that colonists will flock to these northern
regions, when, at any rate up to a few years ago, they
could get almost as much as they wanted of the fertile

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