Belarusian government: more than halves budget support for agriculture over six years

State budget support for agriculture has been cut to USD823m this year from USD1.8bn in 2012, the government news agency Belta has reported, citing the agriculture ministry. We think the decline was due mainly to the national currency devaluation. Over the six years, government support for agriculture totaled USD8.4bn, said the ministry, while proceeds from agriculture exports amounted to USD28.7bn. Belarus exports some 60% of its dairy production and over 30% of its meat production, the ministry added.

Most of Belarus’s agriculture export goes to Russia. Belarus’s efforts to diversify its exports away from Russia, to China in particular, have thus far been largely fruitless because of certification, quality, protectionism and pricing issues.