From August 31 to September 7, 2018, the Belarusian group consisting of the representatives of Bykhov and Slavgorod districts and the International Foundation for Rural Development took part in a study visit to France in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. The main purpose of the trip was to expand cooperation between private farmers in France and Belarus.
In a short time the group visited four dairy farms that produce milk, processing it at a local cheese and yoghurt, as well as the provision of educational services on the farm for children and teenagers with the aim of giving young people a basic knowledge of farming. One of the topics for discussion was the products sale. To this end, visits were organized to local agricultural grocery stores and organic chains, which were established by farmers ' associations. The topic of unification was raised more than once during the visit of Belarusians. The management of the cooperative Bleu du Vercors near Grenoble presented the experience of integration of farmers and the history of a long 15 years: from unprofitable to prosperous enterprises with millions of revolutions.
An important point of the programme was the organization of local agricultural festivals. To this end, meetings were organized with the organizers and local authorities of the three festivals. The delegation was interested in attracting tourists to the territory of the regions, the development of tourism infrastructure, the participation of local residents in the preparation of festivals. As a good example, the delegation visited several village festivals: the Village Festival, the Plow Festival and the Cheese-Making Festival.
For a more detailed understanding of the functioning of the mechanisms of agricultural management in France, meetings were organized in the agricultural chamber of the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. During the meetings, the functions of the chamber and its relations with the structures of the Ministry of Agriculture of France were presented. They discussed the priorities of development of farming in France and the possibility of cooperation with Belarus. A meeting with the leadership of Gite de France was held on the basis of the chamber, where the parties exchanged general information and views on the development of rural tourism in Belarus and France.
The educational visit took place in the framework of the project MOST (Mobility Scheme for Targeted People-to-People-Contacts).
More photos about the last event You can find on our Facebook page.