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23:25 | Jan 24 | 2013

Now is the time for consistency

Measures for rural areas development are planned to become integrated.

In order to support the agro-industrial complex Yakutia’s president Egor Borisov proposed to declare 2013 as Year of Rural Areas Development in the Sakha Republic. More specifically, he issued a decree “On Integrated Measures of Rural Areas Development”.

A change is need
Urbanization observed in the recent decades has led to a significant runoff of people from rural areas. Young people more often prefer to cast their lot with city life. Agriculture in this situation is left without highly qualified personnel, who could have raised the quality of production to a new competitive level.
Although the living standards and welfare of the rural population of Yakutia is still quite high, the complex situation that arouse in the course of seasonal work, and the whims of nature, which led to enormous difficulties in the procurement of fodder, forced the Republic's leadership to re-think the mechanisms of support of villagers. To keep the agricultural core indicators in these difficult circumstances, the government should look for new approaches including innovative ones.

Fundamental basis of the economy
On the other hand, one must admit that considerable budget allocated to support the village in recent years does not bring tangible results. In the first place it happens due to the lack of systematic distribution. Meanwhile, Yakut rural areas being one of the pillars of the economy directly related to the age-old practice and traditions of the indigenous population of the Republic are to be developed, omni-directionally - from production to social sphere.
“It's time to focus all of our existing though largely uncoordinated measures on rural areas support into one,” said Egor Borisov during a press briefing. “We need to establish a unified policy that takes into account absolutely all the factors influencing the establishment of a more favorable and comfortable living standard in rural areas, to change people’s mindset in a market economy.”

Not render, but prove
Another important reason for the issue of the decree is the World Trade Organization accession. The WTO imposes some severe restrictions on the support of producers by the state.
For example, a member country of the WTO has the right to support its agricultural producers only after it proves that without support the local producers would not be competitive on the world market.
This is a rather long process of international level and in order not to waste time the President of the Republic has decided to switch the direct support of commercial agriculture to the general support measures of rural areas.

There would be both houses and the Internet
Another important fact is that the rural population is gradually aging. It is possible to keep modern youth in the village only by making the living conditions close to urban to a maximum. Therefore, the Program envisages such measures as targeted training of young professionals in agricultural occupations, further development of rural individual housing construction, broadband Internet access, roads, etc.
At the same time, Russia's accession to the WTO means that the Yakut villagers should quickly get rid of their paternalistic attitudes and begin to live and work according to the laws of the market economy. Acquire new knowledge, develop advanced technologies, and learn to promote produced goods in a competitive environment.

Interview. “This is a well-timed document”

The main executor of the presidential decree “On Integrated Measures of Rural Areas Development in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)” and the controller of financial resources allocated in accordance with this document to the agro-industrial complex is the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Policy of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). We have addressed the question on how the decree was received in the main agrarian headquarters of the Republic and the measures taken in this regard in the department to the Minister, Ivan Sleptsov.
- Of course we were very pleased by the decree of the Head of the Republic. Naturally, we have various development programs of agro-business of both federal and regional levels which have not been canceled. However, we believe this document is very well-timed, as it addresses all areas of rural branches of activity from housing construction and gasification to training and improving the existing mechanism of agricultural production support. In short, the decree is aimed at a comprehensive solution to the pressing problems of the rural areas. It gives a new impetus to the rise of Yakut village.
- According to the decree quite tangible subsidies for breeding livestock are set up now. Landowners have been waiting for this for a long time...
- People need to profit from maintaining of domestic animals. They are subsidized for managing it, and in return they will have to increase its numbers, better milk it and get more qualitative meat. And, of course, to merchandize it. Now it will be advantageous to have more cows, because if you have ten dairy cows your family budget will increase significantly. The existing mechanism of livestock breeding support will continue to improve.
- What immediate measures will be taken by the Ministry?
- We are going to build both residential and industrial, social facilities, revive meadow-ameliorative works and form a stable system of agricultural products sales. Obviously, it's not a one year project. But I am sure that rural life will become better in the process of implementation of the decree, planned up to 2016. From our side, in the first quarter of 2013, we need to adopt a program of integrated rural areas development for 2013-2016.

Every third Yakut lives in a village

Yakutia belongs to agricultural regions of Russia. The territory of the Republic Square is 3,083 thousand square kilometers, 24,631 ha (8%) of which is used by land users who are engaged in agricultural production. More than 35% of the population live in rural areas and have a close and inextricable connection to the village and its economy. One of the features of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) is its uneven population distribution: it is most densely populated in its central part.

Figures
The budget of the Republic for 2013 allocates 872 million rubles to support the breeding stock of cattle and 555 million rubles for the improvement of the district centers and municipal settlements in rural areas.