Saratov activists of the Popular Front discussed the future of family homesteads in the region

A round table was held at the Saratov regional branch of the All-Russian People’s Front (ONF) on the creation of fundamentally new settlements that meet the challenges of sustainable development in rural areas.

“To date, one of the most urgent issues is the preservation and development of rural areas of Russia. We discussed the prospect of extending the “Far Eastern hectare” program to other regions of the country, creating new forms of settlements, so-called family homesteads, and other issues about how to support those citizens who have chosen a rural way of life,” noted the head of the regional executive committee of the ONF in the Saratov region, Sergei Sharov.

Representatives of public organizations, pro-active residents of Saratov family homesteads and ONF experts discussed the current state of the legislative framework governing land relations issues and the economic feasibility of introducing the institution of family homesteads.

“More than 20,000 families throughout the country have chosen the family homestead path for themselves. In 60 regions, settlements of a new type have been created, providing for ecological management of the economy, creation of useful products, careful treatment of nature and the surrounding world. But due to the imperfection of the legislation, people face serious problems,” said Marina Bugorskaya, regional ONF expert and family homestead founder in the Engels district of Saratov region.

In particular, active citizens note that due to bureaucratic difficulties in the process of land registration, some of the settlements turned out to be illegal, as they are located on agricultural land.

“This model of developing agricultural areas is considered a priority at the federal level, but regional officials are slow to integrate family homesteads into the economy, they do not enter into a dialogue with the activists,” Bugorskaya stressed.

According to the participants of the meeting, the project can give new impetus to unused land and depressed rural areas, to ensure their economic and social development. The main thing is to prepare the legislative ground to achieve this.

“We need to work with the regional deputies so that they understand how to work with this kind of rural settlement, to help the pro-active settlers with infrastructure, rather than creating bureaucratic obstacles,” Sharov concluded.

As a result of the roundtable, experts from the ONF regional branch will prepare proposals for regional authorities to further develop the issue. The issue of the creation of family homesteads in Saratov remains driven by the will of the people.

First published in Russian on 13 August 2018

and 24 August 2018