Second agriculture in Belarus and Ukraine:subsistence or leisure?
In many post-Soviet countries, more than half of all households use small land plots to produce significant agricultural output even though their members have paid jobs or collect state pensions. Existing studies suggest that in Russia such Â“second agricultureÂ” helps smooth consumption. Using household survey data, I study the role of Â“second agricultureÂ” in Belarus and Ukraine, two countries that differ significantly in the coverage of their social safety nets. I Â…find that while in Belarus small land plots do help smooth consumption of the poorest households (during the 1998 crisis), Ukrainian poor appear to be unable to invest sufficiently in their small land plot production to produce similar benefits. Most urban households use their small land plots for leisure, and over years they tend to move away from this activity.
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