RIA Novosti found out why potatoes in the republic are becoming more expensive day by day, although, as farmers assure, there is enough of it now.
According to the National Statistical Committee (Belstat), in October last year a kilogram of potatoes in the country cost 74 kopecks (22 Russian rubles), now an average of 1,31 Belarusian rubles (38 ours). That is, a rise in price by 77%. In the Federation of Trade Unions of the republic, they counted even more - 90%.
In January - February, according to official statistics, prices rose by 21,3%. At the same time, the trade unions drew attention to the fact that potatoes in Belarus produce much more than needed for domestic consumption.
At the same time, for the first time in history, Belarus began to buy potatoes during the harvest season. The main exporter was Ukraine - 15,5 thousand tons. Imports grew 40 percent year over year. As explained in the Ministry of Agriculture, purchases in August and September were intended for industrial processing. However, analysts attributed this to the situation in the domestic market.
In August, there was a sharp increase in the supply of potatoes from Belarus to Russia: 11 times more than before, 94,3 thousand tons. This was justified by the severance of economic ties with partners because of the sanctions.
The non-profit association "Association of retail trade networks of Belarus" believes that it is more convenient for farmers to sell potatoes to Russia or Ukraine. They pay immediately there, but in Belarus, trade networks, according to the law, can drag out twenty days, said Natalia Shablinskaya, executive director of the association.
According to farmers, against the background of rising prices for gasoline, plant protection products, machinery, the rise in price of potatoes is quite justified, only due to this, it is still more or less profitable to deal with this crop. The decline in prices threatens a sharp reduction in planting areas and an outflow of labor.
The Federation of Trade Unions of Belarus (FBU) stated that other vegetables, traditional for Belarusians, are also becoming more expensive. Cabbage - twice, beets - by 87%, carrots - by 70%. Nevertheless, from the point of view of farmers, the products continue to be available to the population of the country.
Although there are other opinions. “Trade unions have repeatedly proposed to the government to take measures to stabilize prices for vegetables. To no avail, ”said Dmitry Shevchuk, head of the main department of social partnership and labor relations of the FBP. He believes it is time to talk about long-term contracts. “Then the producers will be sure that their products will be redeemed during the season, and at a negotiated price. This guarantees consumers a product and a stable price. In addition, for the winter-spring period of rising prices for vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, carrots, beets), it is necessary to improve the formation of stabilization funds, "Shevchuk explained.