In the process of transition to the market economy Belarus rejected the concept of radical reforms (shock therapy) in favour of the concept of gradual transformation. Consequently, market mechanisms have not been created in agriculture and the top-down management of agricultural enterprises has not been abandoned up to this day. Belarus constitutes in this respect an exception among the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. However, the country's overall agricultural production decreased tangibly in 1990-1995 and in the following years stagnation continuing until 2003 was reported. In 2003 the level of agricultural production in Belarus was 22% lower than in 1990. Under the circumstances the central authorities of Belarus decided to accelerate the development of the country's food economy. According to the adopted assumptions, agricultural production was to grow by 45% in 2005-2010. However, in 2005-2009 it increased by not more than 24 %. The principal factor responsible for the lower than expected growth in agricultural production were difficulties in the development of agricultural production in family farms. In 2005-2008 the overall production in these farms declined by 5%. It seems that the decline occurred in the result of decisions to reduce assistance to the development of agricultural production and in the result of diminishing interest in the development of production - especially animal production, among a part of the population, due to the greater availability of food products on the market.
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