A new study on financing, taxation, and lending to agri-food businesses has revealed the potential for the development of small agricultural enterprises.
With the support of the Joint SDG Fund and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Belarus, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Food of the Republic of Belarus, conducted an in-depth review and analysis of the financing of the agri-food sector, proposed new mechanisms for organizing and financially supporting innovative projects, developed approaches for effective interaction between agricultural producers and trading networks.
One of the directions of the research was the development of a training program for beginner farmers. When determining the most popular areas of study, the requests of agricultural producers were taken into account. The program was compiled on the basis of a survey of 176 respondents. Thus, 47% of respondents do not know how to start a small business in agriculture. Farmers need clarification on taxation issues, labor and business law, government support measures, certain aspects of accounting and available funding.
As a result, UNDP experts, together with the Belarusian State Agrarian Technical University, developed an educational course on creating effective models of small business in agriculture. The course can be mastered in 36 study hours. As part of the course, novice farmers will be able to visit successful farms and receive advice on agri-ecotourism, crop production, animal husbandry and gardening.
A separate program has been developed for those interested in organic farming. It introduces state regulation and requirements for production processes and handling of organic products, work with credit programs, marketing and logistics system for promoting products on the market of Belarus, Member States of the Eurasian Economic Union and countries.
With the support of UNDP, on the basis of Belagroprombank's Igrow attraction center, managers and specialists of farming households were trained on the topic of small business in agriculture, including using digital technologies.
The participants discussed the conditions for voluntary certification of organic products, integrated solutions for the application of plant protection products by quadrocopters, the impact of the necessary elements of mineral nutrition on the processes that determine the yield and its quality, the directions of state support at the regional level and various options for financial support from JSC Belagroprombank. UNDP plans to continue to support the efforts of national partners in the development of the agro-industrial sector.
Originally published on UNDP Belarus.