22 January 2018, Monday, 3:19

Leanid Zaika: By prices for meat government tries Belarusians’ patience


Lukashenka won’t succeed in selling loss-making collective farms.

Such a statement has been made by the head of the analytical centre “Strategiya” Leanid Zaika, Doctor of Science, Economics.

- Yesterday the dictator gave the loss-making collective farms half a year to stop being in the red. Will they be able to achieve this task within this term?

- Collective farms were created in the end of the 1920-ies, and some of them after the war. Since that time more than 70 have passed. And what’s now? They were loss-making for 70 years, and now just half a year is offered for them to change so sharply, isn’t it? So all that reminds “the final, 2016th warning”. One third of collective farms and state farms is to be loss-making still.

- And what could happen, which would allow inefficient agriculture enterprises to start working generating profit?

- Only one thing could happen: if prices for meat and eggs grow twice, a dozen of eggs would cost 30 US dollars, and a kilogram of potatoes 5 dollars, then these collective farms are going to stop being unprofitable. But population will leave such a country. It can happen, as the patience of the population is already tried by meat prices. Pork, which costs Br140-160,00o in Belarus, costs Br40,000 in the neighbouring Poland.

- Lukashenka promised to put up for sale loss-making collective farms, in case they continue to be loss-making. Will there be enough willing people to buy them?

- All that is absolutely insubstantial. No one needs loss-making collective farms. Only Putin could probably buy them and name them after the KGB. But speaking seriously, the easiest way, which is recommended by me, is to settle Chinese to loss-making collective farms, and they will revive them.

- If the situation is so sad, what is the future of agriculture in Belarus?

- And essentially, what do we lose by not having manufacturers who sell pork at Br140,000 any more? Will it be a tragedy? For instance, a month ago I bought wonderful and inexpensive tomatoes from Scotland. So why should we strain and try to save agricultural sector, which cannot be saved. By the way, it will survive itself, but only household plots land farms and rural tourism manors will stay. There will be fresh milk, fresh fruit and vegetables there. And collective farms are needed for growing grain only, as even potatoes are mostly grown on subsidiary personal plots.