Reorganisation at Belarusian farms may reduce state subsidies to agriculture
The draft Agricultural Development Programme until 2020, envisages reorganisation of unprofitable agricultural enterprises. As of July 2015, over 65% of agricultural enterprises were unprofitable without the state support and return on sales for the industry as a whole was negative. If the draft is adopted, loss-making enterprises will be reorganised and merged with farms. The state support will decrease due to reduced number of unprofitable enterprises. In addition, employment in agriculture will reduce due to the automation of processes. The authorities anticipate these measures to lead to a better variety of fruit and vegetables on the market and to the reduced food imports.
President Lukashenka has met with the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, who visited Minsk and the Minsk Automobile Plant. Minsk has always sought to have independent links with Russian regional elites, partially, to compensate for the Kremlin's diminishing interest in Belarus. In recent years, Belarus’ contacts with the Russian regions have been extremely intense. However, with some leaders of Russian regions, primarily heads of large republics, communication was more difficult to build. As many analysts in Minsk suggested, Minsk could regard contacts between President Lukashenka and the head of Chechnya as an additional communication channel for relieving tension in relations with the Kremlin. However, most likely, a trusting relationship with Kadyrov is a value for Minsk as such, provided Kadyrov’s broad business and political interests, and a high degree of autonomy for the Chechen leader from the Kremlin.