The Ninth All-Russian Congress of Agricultural Cooperatives once again stated: “The resolutions of the congresses are repeated from year to year, because the issues raised in them are not resolved by the executive branch. Today Russia occupies one of the last places in the world in terms of the development of cooperation.
In the Tale of Bygone Years, which is called the Primary Chronicle, it was said: “Our land is great and plentiful...” It is still plentiful. So much so that in the holiday village of the Leningrad Region, where we visit our sisters in the summer, potholes in the streets are filled up with ... apples. But what about apples ... Our land is so generous that such porcini mushrooms grow in the summer cottage of our sisters. By themselves.
And why are apples thrown into road pits and potholes? Because there is nowhere to put them. And so it is all over the country. At the same time, Russia is the world's largest importer of apples. Including from Poland, EU countries. Yes, in August 2014 we introduced a ban on the purchase of food products from the EU. What made our friends in Belarus very happy. They immediately set up the purchase of cheap Polish apples and their resale in the Russian Federation. And, instantly. We introduced the embargo in August 2014, and in the same August Belarus bought 4 times more Polish apples than in August 2013. Already in 2016, the Rosselkhoznadzor noted a phenomenon: the supply of plant products from Belarus suddenly increased dramatically: carrots - by 2.6 times, apples - by one and a half times, Beijing cabbage - by 3.3 times.
Since then, our Rospotrebnadzor, Rosselkhoznadzor and the police have been doing nothing but fighting Belarus on the fruit front. On the one hand, unsuccessfully, on the other - but everything is in business. As the unforgettable Yuri Koval wrote, "the struggle of the struggle against the struggle." Therefore, geographical discoveries in the state-bureaucratic sphere no longer surprise anyone. In the documents of the Federal Customs Service on the import of apples in the second half of 2020, the column "unknown country" appeared. The director of the Russian Fruit and Vegetable Union, Mikhail Glushkov, commented: “The volumes imported from there indicate that this is a state where apples are very cheap. The price of apples from the "unknown country" is extremely low - an average of $598 per ton".
The dacha owners, of course, are not peasants, but city dwellers. And if something is grown on their plots, then in moderation. Everything goes into business, canned, distributed to friends and relatives. Unless apples, plums and pears disappear - but they live uncontrollably, on their own.
The situation is completely different for rural residents. My sisters and I occasionally visit our other relatives who live in the summer in one of the villages in the Pskov region. There, vegetables are carted to the landfill. Planted, grown, harvested - but nowhere to go. The next year, they plant it again, grow it, and throw it away again. Of course it's strange. But the bottom line is that there is still a people who cannot but work on the land, cannot leave the land empty. Peasant nature. The power of the earth. They rejoice if there is an opportunity to give gifts to acquaintances, relatives from the city, or simply visitors. So, the head of the village administration (second from right) presented us with such zucchini.
Why are apples growing in every dacha and every farmstead, why are vegetables from village gardens not sold in stores, not processed at enterprises? It will certainly be cheaper than imports and products of the so-called agricultural holdings. And the scale is gigantic. Only summer cottages we have, according to various estimates, from 17 to 20 million. And how many more rural homesteads? According to the All-Russian classifier of municipalities for 2020, there were 145,316 villages, villages and towns in Russia. Almost all the inhabitants there have their own gardens, household plots. How much can they give the population of Russia?
Economist Yakov Mirkin published the results of his research in Rodina magazine:
“In 2017, 35% of Russian agricultural products were created by “households of the population” (both those on six acres, and village houses, and those who indulge in cottages). As if in Soviet times. From under your hands, on your own shoulder - 77% potatoes, 63% vegetables, 42% milk, 19% eggs, 22% meat! All this - without taking into account farms, without individual entrepreneurs... 3.1 million hectares of "sown area". Lot? But this is only 4% of the "sowing" in Russia. The efficiency is unimaginable."
Let us dwell on the mention of "Soviet times". Yes, in the last decade of the USSR, the development of personal plots was encouraged. But, basically, for their own food, But the sale - qualified as "private entrepreneurship", "unearned income." Nevertheless, a system of consumer cooperation worked in the USSR, buying vegetables and fruits, mushrooms and berries, medicinal plants from the population. There were 18 thousand procurement points. Of course, a drop in the Russian sea, but still...
But now, it seems, under capitalism, according to the data of the Central Union for 2018, their number has decreased by 25 times - to 720. Let's imagine Russia from Smolensk to Vladivostok, from Krasnodar to Arkhangelsk - and 720 procurement and procurement points.
What kind of laws, decrees, resolutions have not been adopted and are not being adopted now, if only not to allow the Russians to use the gifts of their land, fields and forests. Up to the ban on collecting deadwood. The ban was later lifted, but that's how it was.
In 2006, the Forest Code was adopted. According to it, "the harvesting of food forest resources and the collection of medicinal plants are entrepreneurial activities ... Citizens, legal entities carry out the harvesting of food forest resources and the collection of medicinal plants on the basis of lease agreements for forest plots."
In other words, every granny without a “lease agreement” and with a basket of forest mushrooms in the market is a lawbreaker. Grab it and drag it to the jail. According to Article 171 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation - "Illegal business".
Thank God, an amendment was soon issued: "It is not planned to introduce any restrictive and control measures in relation to the collection of wild plants by enterprises and citizens". And why then adopted such a code?
12 years later, in December 2018, the State Duma adopted in the first reading a bill on amendments to the Forest Code, on the revival of procurement offices, where Russians can donate mushrooms, berries, and nuts collected in the forest. The same bill proposed to amend the law "On consumer cooperation".
Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Natural Resources Nikolai Nikolayev explained.
"It is necessary to build new and modernize existing receiving and procurement points of consumer cooperation using modern technologies, creating preferential conditions for the development of such enterprises".
So, the bill was adopted in the first reading in December 2018.
After 8 months, the consideration was postponed in the second reading.
And after another 2 (two) years and 3 (three) months, in October 2021, they made a decision: "Appoint a responsible committee (the State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection)".
What does it mean? It is impossible to understand. Indeed, on September 17, 2018, the bill’s passport read: “The text of the introduced bill (State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection).”
Why was it necessary in 3 years and 3 months to appoint the committee “responsible”, which itself 3 years and 3 months ago submitted this bill to the State Duma for consideration?
All this means that the bill was decided to roll up. And - they shook.
Why? No answer but one. The government not only supports and finances the oligarchs, owners of large monopoly agricultural holdings, but also eliminates millions of competitors in the food market from their path. Moreover, we are talking about garden plots, and about farms and personal subsidiary plots. Participants of the 9th All-Russian Congress of Agricultural Cooperatives, which took place at the end of January, spoke about this publicly. They appealed to rural commodity producers to "take an active part in organizing a broad and powerful cooperative movement, on the basis of which it is only possible to resist large agrarian capital, which is sweeping away small agricultural enterprises that are not organized into a single force."
The representative of the State Duma noted that only by developing cooperation it is possible to save people in the countryside, the rural way of life itself.
The resolution of the congress states that the Russian government needs to develop a national project "Development of agricultural cooperation", which would provide for the provision of various measures of state support to cooperatives.
Everything is like 9 years ago, at the First Congress of Russian Agricultural Cooperatives.
Yes, as it is said in the Tale of Bygone Years, "our land is great and plentiful". But these words are followed by: "...but there is no order in it". So, according to the legend of the chronicler Nestor, the Novgorodians described the situation in Russia in 862. Exactly 1160 years have passed since then. Nearly 12 centuries.