How many times in 25 years have we heard threats? Still, nothing changes.
During the current visit of Aliaksandr Lukashenka to the regions, we learned a lot of interesting things about the state of agriculture. It’s not that we didn’t know about it at all. But the scale is impressive, writes political analyst Valer Karbalevich for Radio Svaboda.
First, during a visit to Kastsiukovichy, Lukashenka spoke about the extent of thievery in the agricultural sector:
“Discipline is very low. I do not want to say that everyone is bad. But thievery is flourishing. As president, I am even ashamed to talk about it. People steal everything, starting from diesel oil and petrol. For example, some people have recently tried to steal grain. And they don't feel ashamed at all, they don't even hide it. They take it as if it is their own. We will root such things out,” the ruler assured.
90 years of the collective farm system, including a quarter century of Lukashenka’s rule, have not unrooted this phenomenon On the contrary, it became stronger, grew deep roots. After all, there was a very favorable social soil, which has a name - the state form of ownership, the absence of a master on the land.
But the further Lukashenka moved into the rural outback, the more the situation of absurdity that reigned in this area was revealed. Visiting the Staryja Darohi district of the Minsk region, he was shocked when he found out that cattle were dying en masse at the local farms.
It seems that this year cows have become a certain symbol, almost the subject of social and public life. In March, as a result of a scandal with dirty cows, which, according to Lukashenka, live as if in a concentration camp, high officials, including the Minister of Agriculture and the Deputy Prime Minister, lost their posts. 15 criminal cases were started. They used to say in England in the faraway 16th century that “sheep ate people”, and in Belarus in the 21st century “cows ate officials”.
Immediately after the scandal, the police, on the orders of Lukashenka, dropped all other affairs and went to the village to fight “mismanagement”. Someone was caught, punished.
Now it turns out that just in the midst of this police campaign, cows not only stand dirty, but also die en masse. In July, bloggers, independent media, social networks published information and even photos of dead calves and injured cows. Lukashenka was forced to react and threatened the government with responsibility for the death of the cattle, instructed the Prosecutor General to deal with this issue.
And so, while visiting the Staryja Darohi district, Lukashenka’s assistant Aliaksandr Kasinets reported that last year 19.6 thousand heads of cattle, and 102.8 thousand pigs died in the Minsk region alone. For the first half of 2019, the death rate of cattle in the region amounted to 10.4 thousand heads, pigs - 59.6 thousand. “That is, a 17% increase in the death rate of cattle, a 24% increase in pigs,” he said.
Anatol Isachenka, the Chairman of the Minsk regional executive committee, made excuses by saying that, earlier, the leaders hid this case, cheated with numbers, but now they just stopped hiding statistics and therefore the numbers seem large. Multiply these numbers by six (the number of regions in the country), and you will see a terrifying picture. This is all you need to know about agriculture in Belarus.
It should be noted that animals always died on collective farms. Mainly - due to lack of feed, negligence, poor veterinary service.
It would seem that now is the 21st century, providing for a completely different level of mechanization; the land, thanks to selection and fertilizers, gives large yields; the latest medicines are available in the veterinary service. However, it turns out that if there is no master, then all scientific achievements have almost no effect on the state of affairs in the agricultural sector.
This is a verdict for the collective-state farm system, for the agrarian policy of Lukashenka. Although he, as usual, is trying to act all high and mighty, threatens to punish everyone:
“The guilty will be punished. What for do we plough the soil, produce fodder – for dead cows, bulls and calves? No one needs that. This is blatant mismanagement, a true crime. There will be tough punishment for the massive loss of cattle,” he said.
How many times in 25 years have we heard such threats? Still, nothing changes. This is another demonstration of the powerlessness of the so-called “strong power”, “strong hand”.