ORSHA DISTRICT, 21 June (BelTA) - If rural communities have normal conditions for life and work, then people will come, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he visited the Yubileiny agricultural company in Orsha District on 21 June, BelTA has learned.
"If conditions for life and work are good, people will come," the head of state answered a question about what measures need to be taken to keep young people in rural communities.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said that in the past, when he was the head of a farm, he faced the problem of an excess of personnel and that, in his opinion, is worse than a shortage. "But there should be no deficit either," the president emphasized.
He drew attention to the fact that the working conditions for farmers have improved significantly in recent years. Modern high-performance equipment facilitates human labor and replaces the need for many workers. "The population in the countryside will not be excessive. Such is a tendency in Belarus, as in the whole world," Aleksandr Lukashenko explained.
If Belarus had not preserved such large forms of economy as collective and state farms but had opted for fragmentation into private farms, the outflow of people from rural communities would have been even greater, the president is sure. However, the country has preserved both, private and state, farms which helps the agricultural industry to develop steadily. "There are more farmers in some places and fewer in others. Some leave and some come and so on. Sometimes we sign loss-making collective and state farms to bigger farms. But the population will still decline. I am trying to keep people in rural communities. But still the statistics say that the population in the countryside is significantly decreasing. But it is sufficient because equipment is more advanced now," the head of state said.
"What we need is normal conditions, nothing else. And people will choose. Finding a job is not that easy in bigger cities. There has already been some outflow from cities to rural communities," the Belarusian leader continued.
The president recalled that agro-towns have been developed in Belarus at his insistence. Their goal was to create more comfortable living conditions in order to keep people in smaller communities. However, all this will not yield results if jobs and decent working conditions are not created, the head of state emphasized. "But they should be supplemented with good conditions for work: good equipment, good complexes such as a machine yard, a grain mill. By the way, at first we faced some imbalance: we set up agro-towns but technologies and equipment lagged behind. Now we are making up for this imbalance," Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “This process is not fast. There is not one farm, but there are thousands of them. But over the five-year period, things will change for the better in agriculture too if we seize this moment of growing food prices," the Belarusian leader said.
He stressed that the state youth policy in Belarus is aimed to provide comprehensive support of children both in terms of their upbringing, education, medical care, and also employment in small communities.
In Belarus, according to him, the state has invested heavily in the healthcare sector, including assistance to mothers and children. By the way, the situation with the coronavirus confirmed that the country has chosen the right path both in terms of development of domestic medicine as a whole and in terms of the COVID-19 response strategy. "We did well!” the president said. “Our results (we see them) are better than in any other country. The United States did the worst. The rich U.S. showed the worst results."
State support is also provided in education, especially in terms of the educational process for children from rural communities. "We have created a level playing field for everyone. I urge universities to enroll more children from the regions because they do not have the same opportunities as kids in Minsk. Meanwhile the university student population is mostly from Minsk, who, as soon as there is some protest, are in the forefront. Because they are not the salt of the earth. They do not know what hard life is," Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The president noted that in his personnel policy he relies on people from regions: "We promote people from regions to top positions in the country, positions of ministers and so on."
In this regard, Aleksandr Lukashenko urged Vitebsk Oblast Governor Aleksandr Subbotin to take a closer look at director of the Yubileiny agricultural company Aleksandr Firsin. "It is time we promoted him," the president said. “He has already raised many specialists who can lead the company.”
"It would be nice to have more such leaders at the top. We need to promote them to the top because they know how to live, what to do, how to work," the President added.
He assured that the state will continue to create conditions to keep young people in rural communities. "But you need to love this land," the Belarusian leader said. “If your children love the land as much, then we will need no measures to keep them from fleeing for big cities.”