The International Day of Rural Women is celebrated on 15 October. In Belarus, over one million women live in rural areas. It is about 22 per cent of all Belarusian women.
When Farming is Pleasure
October 14, 2022
Not so long ago Natalia started goats breeding and production of homemade goat cheese. Beside that Natalia is the director of the Vysakouski eco-ethnographic centre.
Now there are 93 goats of various breeds on her farm: white Saanen goats, lop-eared Anglo-Nubians and spotted Alpine beauties.
There is a lot of work such as pasturing, feeding and milking. That is why Natalia's son now helps her with the farm. He joined the mother's business half a year ago and now helps with the farm.
The salt-n-pepper of Natalia's business is homemade soft cheese made of goat milk with herbs, seeds and nuts, various sprinkles and marinades. Each type of cheese has its unique flavour.
Natalia also organized a nursery for plants beside her house. She grows young plants to distribute them among people living in the village and district. Today there are 15 varieties of mint, various pumpkins, seedlings of viburnum opulus, rose hips, and blackberries.
By her example Natalia shows that even small household plots can provide quality organic products for their owners’ needs and for sale.
Natalia believes that the basis for successful development of rural entrepreneurship can be provided through horizontal cooperation of entrepreneurs within the district and beyond. There are enough entrepreneurs in Biaroza district, so Natalia had an idea to create a local business community to establish partnerships and facilitate joint training.
The first step on the way to implementation of this idea was made two years ago, when the regional Centre for Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support was created with the involvement of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus and financial support of the European Union.
When planning training sessions and workshops, local interests and needs are taken into account. For example, of great interest in the region is the greenhouse business. Accordingly, the centre offers both newcomers and experienced gardeners consultations about construction of greenhouses and garden nurseries and use of innovative technologies for agriculture.
The Centre for Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support also has a station for joint use of equipment for cultivated products processing. Here farmers can dry or ferment herbs, fruit and vegetables.
"My homeland gives strength, and understanding that you help people gives a feeling of satisfaction and happiness. I love running business and I love farming. I am still not ready to rest.
Production of ‘delicious souvenirs’ will be among its focus areas. Souvenir cheeses, jams, pickles, sweets and cakes will be produced under the brand entitled, "Treats from Biaroza Region.”
"I am not disclosing a secret of my cake ingredients yet, but you can take my word that it will be a master dish under the "Made by Mummy" brand,” says Natalia.
The Centre for Agro-Eco-Entrepreneurship Support in Biaroza district of Brest region was opened as part of the project “Support to Economic Development at the Local Level in the Republic of Belarus” funded by the European Union and implemented by UN Development Program (UNDP) in partnership with the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Belarus.
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