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21 December 2022, 11:10

Vice premier: Belarus is among world leaders in per capita cropland area

MINSK, 21 December (BelTA) - Belarus is in the Top 20 of world leaders in terms of cropland area per capita, Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats said at a joint sitting of the two chambers of the Belarusian parliament on 21 December, BelTA has learned.

“The development of agro-industrial complex in our country is one of the priorities of the state policy. This is the most important area of human activity, which defines not only the wealth of the nation, but to a great extent the social and political stability in the society. The rural areas are home to 22% of the country's population and agriculture employs over 7% of those employed in the real sector of economy,” said Leonid Zayats.

The basis of the agro-industrial complex is agriculture, which has accounted for about 7% of the gross domestic product in recent years. Organizations processing agricultural raw materials add another 5% to the country's GDP. “The country's agriculture rests on large-scale production, which accounts for more than 80% of gross output. Some 17% of output is provided by private land plots and 3% by farms. The country is among the world's leaders in per capita cropland area: 0.62ha against 0.2ha on average in the EU and the world community,” the deputy prime minister said.

“Historically, Belarus has kept leading positions in agricultural production. By the time the USSR collapsed, Belarus had produced more meat and milk per capita than Germany, France and the UK, and more wheat than the countries of the European Union. Our country was a world leader in potato and flax fiber production,” said Leonid Zayats.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union the young state faced a food security problem. “To solve it, the country chose a program way of development. The recovery began in 1996 with the adoption of the first state program. The most important area in solving the food problem in Belarus was defined as the stability of production of agricultural raw materials and foodstuffs on the basis of sustainable development of the agro-industrial complex.”

Today the development of the agro-industrial complex is ensured thanks to the sixth state program Agriculture of Business running through 2021-2025. The production base has been substantially renewed. Over the past five years the country has built and reconstructed some 472 dairy farms, commissioned 12 new pig complexes that use the latest technologies. Apart from this, the country has restored 22 pig farms, built and reconstructed 32 poultry farms.

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