Subject The paper discusses the issues of evaluation of possible sources of manpower in the demographic situation at the location of abandoned agricultural lands in the Far East of the Russian Federation to implement a policy for food substitution. Objectives The paper aims to find and identify certain opportunities for staffing the process of commercialization of abandoned agricultural land, taking into account the territorial localization and demographic situation in the Far East of Russia. Methods To study the differentiation of regional demographic situation, we used the census data of 1979, 1989, 2002, 2010, and the current statistical reporting on the Amur Oblast. We combined the obtained results of the settlements classification with the territorial localization of abandoned agricultural land. Results We found that the reserves of land resources are concentrated on the periphery of the settlement systems of the Oblast, where the most obvious demographic degradation leaves no chance to rely on local residents to provide import substitution with labor resources. The low attractiveness of small settlements makes the possibility of migration limited, and leaves no other alternative but use the Chinese seasonal workforce. Conclusions The evaluations of the Oblast's demographic situation differentiation prove the absence of intra-staff sources of agricultural organizations use to organize a large-scale process of food import substitution. The evidence obtained of the need for foreign labor-intensive use can help to develop regional socio-economic development programs and improve the migration policy.
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