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Why Belarusian farmers are unable to sell locally grown vegetables and fruits.

Since the autumn of last year the Belarusian farmers complained that they can’t sell the apples, the cabbage, the strawberries, tomatoes. And not only in the domestic market but also abroad. Some farmers blame the trade network: don’t want to buy. Others complain that we have no processing. Third, anyone with a sales was all good, said that complaining about those who do not know how to sell. Tut.by asked the farmers, officials and scientists, why is there a problem with marketing and what to do with it.

Farmers: “the Internal market is small, it should not even be considered for distribution of large amounts of”

The first year the Belarusian farmers have problems with sales, which they grow. In the fall of 2018 they complained that they are unable to sell apples and blame the Belarusian trading network who do not want to buy them. This spring, told me that early cabbage is sold for animal feed, although cultivated for people. In early summer, farmers suffered from low prices for strawberries. But even at this cost it allegedly was to sell the surplus. In August, the question arose of where to attach the tomatoes, which also increased a lot, and nobody took. Individual peasant households could not sell the blueberries at a decent price, although in Minsk on the market the berries sold at 10 cents per kilo.

The question arises: if we can’t sell vegetables, fruits and berries don’t grow all of it in such numbers? Once the problem has become almost constant, maybe both the internal and external markets are saturated this item, and it’s time to switch to manufacturing something else that is in demand?

We asked the farmers what, in their opinion, prevents the marketing and how you can resolve the issue.

A farmer from the Brest region, which is engaged in the cultivation of apples, I’m sure the problem with the sale lies in the inability of some farmers to sell.

— This year I have almost all the apples sold. The first batch did take good, then worse, because the market is oversaturated, says farmer. — Last year, when growers complained that the apples no one takes, the problems were not all. Those who do not have permanent arrangements, stable buyers. For example, I have these buyers are in Russia, cooperating with some 10 years.

The green thumb says to sell their products on the domestic market extremely difficult.

— If to speak about apples, we have large quantities take only plants, and that worm-eaten and “padonki” for processing for a penny. And the good apples, if anyone wants to buy it in small batches — 200 to 300 pounds. A few tons you’d never sell in the domestic market, — says the farmer. But the main problem is still the inability to sell.

Another farmer from the Brest region, says that there is a difficulty in the fact that Belarus is basically “tied” to Russia. We sell almost only there.

— Domestic market is small, it should not even be considered for marketing large volumes of products. Belarus is an agricultural country. Everyone has hradecka, many all grown yourself. Only if any natural disasters happen, people don’t get a crop, then go to the market and shop for vegetables and fruits, explains his point of view of the grower. — To sell the goods mainly through the export. And most of all we are bringing to Russia. But quality products there is a demand in other countries.

The farmer grows carrots, beets, potatoes, onions and grains. But the geography he is not confined to Russia.

— I still sell in Ukraine and Moldova. Sell it all to Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. The prices are about the same as ours — says the interviewee. — Our market is saturated with agricultural products. The solution is to work for a particular buyer, that is, under the order by prior arrangement. But in this version, too many nuances. For example, the plant takes on a price, you agreed with him to supply, but suddenly the increased price, you have the opportunity to somebody else to sell more. But you already made a commitment, so they fail. Who wants to lose profits? Plus we have irregularly occupied niche of the market. Let me explain: one year earned on raspberries. The following year, all throw to grow the crops grown, and begin to have raspberries. And when a lot of goods, it is more difficult to sell and even more money on it.


Photo: Alexander Cvetkovic, TUT.BY

The farmer of the Grodno region agreed that “in Belarus there is bias in who and what grows”.

— If to speak about our raspberries, which several years ago became involved in almost every second, before this the price was good. When supply grew, she fell to the ruble — this is along with filling and packaging. But to any culture is beginning to bear fruit, needs a few years to care for her, to invest, both financially and physically in this case, not to mention the fact that the seedlings are not cheap. But if you do, what many, not even recoup invested, says the farmer. — When the price of raspberries’ve moved on to blueberries.

The head of the farm suggests that if those who grow this berry, there will be more, history will repeat itself.

— You need not to switch to growing what all, but rather to go in the direction where no one or few farmers. I know that in the early vegetables and herbs demand good for cucumbers.

The Institute of fruit-growing: “the One who knows how to sell, sell,”

What do people think about scientists? Why can grow and sell not always?

— Receipt of the product and its selling are two different skills. When is the training of farmers, and many experts, they are taught to produce, in this case to grow high quality products. And learn to sell them by themselves in the field. Therefore, often it does not give the desired result, — explained in the RUE “Institute for fruit growing”, which deals with the breeding and cultivation technologies of fruit and berry crops. — This does not mean that the farmer must be and Shvets, and the Reaper, and on dude igrets — all to be able to do everything myself. You can hire someone who is an expert in this matter.


Photo: Alexander Cvetkovic, TUT.BY

Employees of the Institute say that the chance to sell vegetables would significantly contribute to the presence of farmers at least a small processing plant.

— It is logical that the cycle has been completed. When you have concentrated everything from raw material to final product, for example, jams, jellies or juices. Often grown, perishable product. And if there is recycling, not sell fresh (low market price or lack of demand) it is possible to produce something and sell it with added value, summed up in the Institute.

Complaints about low prices paid for fruit and vegetables at the Institute say that the cost of a market.

— Not at all clear what it means to “sell at a low price”? It’s 2 times cheaper than I would like? — wonder workers of the Institute. If on the Belarusian market give little, cultivate high-quality products, to sell for export more expensive. You can go the way of organic production, will take Europe for big money, only the certificates you need to obtain.

“The one who knows how to sell, he sells,” emphasize the scientific staff.

Last year’s trial with apples and the current with strawberries, when in the process interfered with the Supreme power, sets a bad example. Now those who can not sell, will complain that everything is not for sale, suggested in the Institute. — Of course, this issue must be some kind of a global foreign economic policy. For example, in the period of mass ripening of those apples to make some kind of ban on the import of these fruits. For example, in September-October apples from other countries not to buy and to sell only your own. The consumer of this, most likely, will not lose anything. And, in terms of pesticide load per unit harvest even acquire.

About the fact that the reason for the poor sales of agricultural products, particularly apples, is the unwillingness of retailers to buy these goods from the farmers, the Institute said that it is not.

— They want, and many people buy. But often farmers do not wish to contact our stores. And there are objective reasons. According to them, in Russia more favorable conditions of payment: to sell, came the wagon, took and immediately behind him received the money. And many of our trading networks begin to ask for a deferred payment 30-40 days, and still can be refund if the products will lie down and suddenly go bad. The question here is not even the price, just the red tape necessary to nobody, — noted in the Institute.

According to researchers, “our trade sometimes does not work very honestly, shifting risks for the safety of products on the manufacturer.”

— The products must be in the store at a certain temperature and humidity. And the store of 18, of course, that it can start to deteriorate. But then the sellers say that the farmers are poorly made. And ask to replace the product or require its return.


Photo: Alexander Cvetkovic, TUT.BY

The Ministry of agriculture and food: “People are the private sector at its own discretion and under its responsibility”

The Ministry of agriculture and food, saying our agricultural sector, including farmers, to fully ensure the Belarus vegetables. With fruits and berries the situation is worse, but there is positive dynamics.

In 2019 in all categories of farms expected production of 1.6 million tons of various vegetables and 495 thousand tons fruits and berries. Of them 624 thousand tons of vegetables and 164 thousand tons fruits and berries grown in agricultural organizations and peasant farms. This is 114% and 70% compared to last year, respectively — cited figures in the Ministry of agriculture. — Produce the volume of vegetable production can meet the needs of the domestic market of the Republic and have available resources, including for export.

But the apples we provide are not completely. But the relevant agencies are working on it.

The largest production volumes of fruit expected in the Brest and Grodno regions — 62% of the total volume in the country. However, we have not yet fully achieved the apples from its own production, — noted in Department. — In order to reach full self-sufficiency in the framework of the state program of agribusiness development for the years 2016-2020, annually planned to plant orchards in the area of at least 500 ha. From 2016 to 2018 pledged 2.3 thousand hectares.

Surplus of fruits, vegetables and berries Belarus exports: exports to Russia, Kazakhstan, Britain, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and other countries. And there is a potential. In 2018, we exported 334 thousand tons of vegetables and 111 thousand tons fruits and berries, of which 89 thousand tons of apples. Despite the fact that we fully provide vegetables and to a great extent with apples, imported fruits and vegetables we still have. The reason is the Belarusian fruits and vegetables seasonal. Grow them all year round when the Belarusian climate is economically inefficient — it is easier to buy.

But this does not mean that we buy in General, all abroad in the period when we did not grow their own vegetables and fruit. The country has a stabilization funds, which lays the domestic production for the winter.

— Season 2019/2020 will be laid 43,6 thousand tons of potatoes, 23,2 thousand tons of cabbage, 8.3 thousand tons of beets, 12.3 thousand carrots, 12.6 thousand onions. Fruits will store of 13.2 thousand tons, — said in the Ministry. — In addition, the agricultural enterprises have specialized storage for storing fruits and vegetables. Of them trading can buy stocks through direct contracts.

The Ministry recalled that the offer of products and its volume and range depend on the demand, and the price is formed depending on the degree of saturation of the market with vegetables and fruits. That is, these administrative processes are not regulated.

— Private farms continue to be important in ensuring food security of the state. Only in 2018 the population produced 21% of agricultural products of the total production in the country. A population collected vegetables 1 194.1 thousand tons, or 75% of the total, and fruit and berries — 720,3 thousand tons, or 68%, — told the Agency.

On the question of whether the Ministry of agriculture to regulate the market of the agricultural products, that is to reduce the number of production what is in excess, and increase if something is missing, officials replied in the negative.

— It should be noted that citizens are in a private farm at the discretion and under its responsibility. Government intervention in this is not allowed, — explained in the Ministry.


Photo: Alexander Cvetkovic, TUT.BY

MARCH: “Farmers are oriented to the external market, and here ship products according to the residual principle”

The Ministry of Antimonopoly regulation and trade told how much the Belarusian fruit and vegetables sold annually in our country. Officials also explained why, in their view, farmers are not always able to sell locally grown.

Every year Belarus sold about 300 thousand tons fruits and berries, in particular, about 80 thousand tons of apples. People buy where-that 160 thousand tons of potato, 285 thousand tons of fresh vegetables, of which about 60 thousand tons of cabbage, 65 thousand tons tomatoes — do list in MARCH. — Now the country sell their products a large number of domestic producers, including farmers. According to 2018, the share of farms of the total number of potato producers was 6.4%, vegetables — 18,5%, fruits and berries — 8%.

Sell fresh vegetables, fruits and berries can trading networks and separate shops under direct contracts in the markets. In addition, each year the government organises agricultural fair. That is, in the domestic market are given every opportunity to market the crop.

In conditions of free competition the traders in selecting suppliers pay attention to several criteria: the competitiveness of products on the consumer characteristics and the price, possibility of delivery vehicles manufacturer, filling in consumer packaging, the availability of documents proving quality and safety labelling that meets the requirements of technical normative legal acts of Belarus and the EEU. According to operative data, now in fresh vegetables, fruit and berries in retail network deliver more than 120 farms, — told the Agency.

This is to ensure that those farmers who want to cooperate with the Belarusian trade, have the opportunity.

In addition, markets across the country, there are places for sale grown. And they are much more than willing to sell. In early summer, when there was a mass gathering of strawberries, for trading it has allocated more than 8 thousand places. But for some reason about 40% of them remained unoccupied. Collectors also purchased strawberries. This season it was bought from a population of 1.5 thousand tonnes, and then about 50% sold at markets and in stores are fresh.

— In our opinion, one of the main problems of individual farms with sales of farm products is the lack of planning of volumes of cultivation of certain vegetable and fruit crops, taking into account the needs of the domestic market of the Republic and export deliveries. Another point — some farmers have no long-term contracts with the trade for the supply of farmed products with mutual obligations. In some cases the delivery terms are unacceptable to retailers: delivery of products, payment in advance, nicolebriannay products — apples and pears, no consumer packaging for strawberry, blueberry, and other, — consider in Department.

Also in MARCH, emphasize that the Belarusian farmers are more oriented to the external market and the internal ship their products as a residual. When in other countries there is a demand for their products, they sell it there. But when there is no demand or fall crop year, farmers are starting to complain about our sales network, they say, do not take like the situation with last year’s apples or strawberries this year.

Climatic conditions of our country allow to grow on an industrial scale pear, cherry, sweet cherry, plum, strawberry, black and red currants, raspberries and other fruits and berries. Today in a trading network, even in the harvesting season, the Belarusian berries delivered in small volumes. Their share in the production of fruits and berries is less than 5%. In this direction it is necessary to develop the Belarusian farmers — say in MARCH. — Farmers need to ensure not only their cultivation but and packing in consumer packaging. This will increase the consumption of Belarusian products, to expand its product range, to increase the sale.