Дата публикации

Points of growth of the Belarusian village

Preserving life in rural areas is one of the main tasks of regional policy at the present stage of the country's development. This was stated by the Head of State on the eve of Christmas celebration on January 6.

The outflow of population from rural to urban areas is not a new problem. The global trend of reducing the rural population in a number of developed countries is characterized by a share of the rural population in the total population of 15% - the so-called latent threshold for the safety of modern rural life.

In Belarus, from 1990 to 2022, the rural population decreased from 33.9% to 21.9% of the total population. We can say that the security threshold has not been reached and there is still a reserve in order not to worry, but the problem exists, and it has been talked about for a long time.

The future of rural areas, slowing the exodus of rural people to cities are important tasks of the regional development policy of Belarus. The process of agro-towns becoming centers of attraction, which is observed amid the extinction of the classical village, confirms this trend. A number of political decisions indicate that the village needs to be developed. In particular, implementing the Head of State's decision "One district-one project", realization of the transformation of pilot agro-towns into "villages of the future" with modern social indicators of living standards, reducing the pace of housing construction in the capital, etc.

Poll of student's youth conducted by BISR show that Internet accessibility and speed in the first place and transport infrastructure in the second, are a target among boys and girls who are consider living in rural areas. Modern social infrastructure (fitness center, shopping center, cafe, etc.) is important, but not to the same extent as the Internet and roads.

The prioritization of rural life can only be launched in parallel with the creation of conditions and opportunities for life in the village (agro-town). The most important factors may be the presence of a large farm producing in-demand products (such as, for example, JSC Ostromechevo in the agro-town of Ostromechevo, Brest region), the availability of natural resources with an emphasis on the village development (agro-town Lyaskovichi, Petrikov district, Gomel region), a number of natural conditions for tourism development (Braslav district, Vitebsk region), farming or rural business (Stolin district of Brest region), proximity to a large city, etc.

The so-called growth points of the Belarusian village must be determined not only through implementing state programs at the basic territorial level, building city-forming enterprises, consolidating the main provisions of regional policy in regulatory legal documents, but also through identifying them using the "initiative from below" method - when the local population and authorities offer their vision for the further development of the settlement, the potential of its use to increase the GRP of the region and improve the living standards of the local population, and not just fulfill the targets of socio-economic development. In this case, the state will be the guarantor of ensuring the constitutional rights of citizens, and citizens will be a concerned investor in developing their place of residence.