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Belarus - Agriculture and food sector review (English)

According to this report the government of Belarus has expressed a commitment to transforming agriculture into an efficient, dynamic sector of its economy. Currently most agricultural production is still organized into the "socialized sector", two types of centrally controlled large-scale farms: kolkhozes (collective farms) and sovkhozes (state farms). The first private farms were established in 1991 and their number has increased relatively slowly. Belarus's natural resource endowment favors livestock production, accounting for 60 percent of total agricultural production by 1989. Though this percentage reflects a livestock sector that was artificially expanded through heavy subsidies to both producers and consumers. Since concentration has been focused on the livestock sector most crops produced have been feed grains, although several other marketable crops such as potatoes, flax, oilseed and sugar beets are also included in annual production. A new focus in the Belarus agricultural sector has been forestry development, especially for timber harvesting. The forest sector, though still very young, has produced good quality timber and the large areas of sandy soil comprising a good deal of Belarus's landscape will provide for forestry expansion. The fundamental conclusion of this report is that the present agricultural system, even with some reforms already completed, requires further adjustment to become a working market-oriented economy. Successful implementation of the required adjustment necessitates a comprehensive and consistent program of actions. A comprehensive overall reform strategy needs to be developed and agreed upon by the Government as soon as possible.

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Belarus - Agriculture and food sector review (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/155991468743158194/Belarus-Agriculture-and-food-sector-review