Posted 26 декабря 2022,, 13:48

Published 26 декабря 2022,, 13:48

Modified 27 декабря 2022,, 04:13

Updated 27 декабря 2022,, 04:13

The country of contrasts: what the agricultural census found in the Russian village

The country of contrasts: what the agricultural census found in the Russian village

26 декабря 2022, 13:48
Rosstat has published the full data of the agricultural micro-census of 2021. It showed that simultaneously with the consolidation of agricultural holdings, the extinction of the Russian village continues, although trillions of rubles are allocated for projects for its development.

Sergey Baymukhametov

The outgoing year 2022 ends with a record for agriculture - the grain harvest amounted to 150 million tons in net weight.

This was reported by the head of the Ministry of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev at the "government hour" in the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

Success is unconditional. According to the head of the department, it was achieved due to a technological breakthrough in the agro-industrial complex, due to an increase in the amount of fertilizers per hectare by one and a half times compared to 2018. As a result, the grain yield has increased from 25 to 34 quintals per hectare in five years. In the years of Soviet power, frankly speaking, such a thing was never dreamed of.

As a result, Russia is now in first place in grain imports, ahead of the USA, Canada, France.

Of course, not everything is unambiguous, as it is now customary to say. And not even all of them. For example, the gross grain harvest in the USA is about 445 million tons, that is 3 times more than ours. At the same time, we have up to 100 million tons of food wheat, and only 50 in the USA. It seems to be an obvious disparity.

The bottom line is that in developed countries, the bulk of grain is grown to provide livestock, to feed livestock. That is, for the production of meat and milk. But for 30 years of capitalism in Russia, we have greatly "facilitated" this task for ourselves. If in 1990 the number of cattle in the RSFSR was 57 million, then in 2021 it was 18 million 895 thousand. These are the data of the agricultural micro-census of 2021, published by Rosstat three days ago, on December 23. 

That is, we have 3 times fewer cows, bulls and calves than there were in the RSFSR.

And - about 5 times less than in the USA. The number of cows, bulls and young animals there is 92-94 million heads.

Hence the paradox: if under Soviet rule the number of cattle and the production of beef in slaughter weight was 3 times more than now, then why was there no meat on free sale in the RSFSR practically anywhere except Moscow and Leningrad, and now the counters are littered? Of course, import. Due to the aggravation of international relations, imports are not direct, but so-called parallel, through other countries. As people used to say, "from the back porch." It should also be taken into account that the per capita consumption of beef has fallen - due to the high cost. However, the population is quite content with pork and poultry meat. Russian pork and poultry production has grown 2 times or even more over the past 10 years. And this is another tangible success of agricultural holdings.

But the number of cattle is constantly decreasing. Moreover, in large agricultural enterprises, they are also agricultural holdings. Now - for 367 thousand heads. Although, it would seem, they have the cards in their hands - and there are capacities, and areas for fodder crops, and state subsidies. But it's still not profitable. According to experts, the payback period for projects on the cultivation of meat breeds exceeds 11 years. Is it the same thing to plow millions of hectares for wheat. I sowed it in the spring and sold it abroad in the fall. And the state has money, and they themselves are far from offended.

However (from the previous agricultural record) the number of cattle in private subsidiary farms has also decreased. For 1 million 551 thousand heads.

The same is true with potato production. Until recently, almost two-thirds accounted for personal subsidiary farms. According to the Center for Industry Expertise of the Rosselkhoznadzor, potato production in private farms has decreased to 52% in 5 years. It is predicted that the negative trend will continue. (Private households do not receive loans and subsidies.)

Private households have not received loans and subsidies from the state over the past five years. Not a penny. But agricultural holdings - constantly, and in considerable amounts. A year ago, the Ministry of Agriculture decided that, in addition to the existing one, it was necessary to provide them with additional financial assistance to increase the production of potatoes and vegetables - and immediately allocated another 5 billion rubles.

Novye Izvestia has already written that private subsidiary farms can provide the population with cheap vegetables, fruits, and potatoes in abundance. To do this, it is only necessary to organize their purchase from the population. They have been talking about this for many years, there was even a bill, but it remained under the cloth. And rural residents do not have the opportunity to sell directly to retail chains. Trade deals only with large agricultural organizations. One may even suspect that, in general and in general, competition from the population is destroyed in this way. In addition, there are objective-subjective, let's say, reasons. Officials from government agencies and agricultural holdings are close to each other. Both there and here are what is called "vertically integrated structures". Everyone belongs to each other, everyone understands everything. Why bother with millions of Uncle Van and Aunt Man, what's the use of them?

As a result, over the past 5 years, the number of personal subsidiary farms has decreased by 362,500 units. In other words, 362,500 families stopped participating in agricultural production. In 2010, the share of private farms in total agricultural products was 48%, in 2016 - 35%, in 2020 - 26.6%.

It is clear that the older generation is losing strength, passing away. And go persuade the young people to work hard on a large plot of land - to weed potatoes, take care of cattle. Especially when there is no special profit. Now, if this work gave tangible money, the opportunity to arrange life according to urban standards of improvement, gave confidence in their position, which means independence, self-respect and respect for others - then it's another matter.

The gradual extinction of private subsidiary farms means the further extinction of Russian villages. According to the All-Russian Population Census of 2020-2021, there were more than 153 thousand rural settlements in Russia. Of these, almost 25 thousand had no population, 35 thousand villages had 10 people or less.

Since 2002, we have been adopting priority national projects and comprehensive rural development programs, providing for the expansion of the production base, the construction of schools, clubs, paramedic stations, and the creation of modern social infrastructure. Trillions of rubles are allocated for them.