A profitability of 10% is a good way to finish the year for Belarusian farms. The nice harvest and considerable economic progress are not the only achievements the Belarusian agriculture may be happy about. The first year of the village revival program saw the development of 162 agro-stations and more than 8,000 new houses in the countryside.
Despite the natural calamities that hit Belarus last year, 2005 may be called quite successful for Belarusian farms. In cattle-breeding, Belarus managed to outstrip the most successful year in agriculture, 1990, which is normally used for comparison. Poultry factories and dairies did the best. “No one ever managed to get 3,684 kilograms of milk per cow in Belarus,” says the deputy head of the cattle-breeding and food department with the Agriculture Ministry, Fyodor Kovalyov. “We have to hit the 4,000-kilo target now, to bring the average to the record high reached in the Minsk and Grodno Regions.”
Labor is not the only reason behind this giant leap. Belarus invested more than 9 trillion rubles in agricultural production. This money was spent to upgrade 214 dairies and reconstruct over 20 intensive livestock units. As a result, farm produce output hiked 50%.
As for the reforms in the social sector, the residents of agro-stations must be very well aware of the changes. New schools, shops, clinics, water supply, sewage systems, natural gas connection and roads are just several items on the list of the benefits that 1,481 settlements are to get by 2010. At the same time, villagers will be using the same benefits as they enjoy now, including preferential university entrance and exemption from taxes on sale of produce harvested from homesteads.