In the southern part of Belarus lies a vast marshy area defined by the eastern Bug and Prypyat rivers. Called Polesie, this legendary land was celebrated in traditional poems and Belarusian folklore. In the 1960s-80s this wild territory was converted for agriculture; however the draining of the swamps damaged the environment and disrupted the daily lives of the inhabitants. The region was also affected by the Chernobyl disaster; huge areas were contaminated by radioactive substances and thus are unsuitable for farming or habitation.
The potato producers’ community of Polesie is a family-run business, which during high season engages 3-5 villagers to help with harvesting. Production is concentrated on 100 hectares of land dedicated to local vegetables: potatoes, beets, carrots, cabbages and onions. The community devotes a good deal of time and care to seed selection and production of Belarusian potatoes, which are the basis of the national cuisine. The crop is sold wholesale to an intermediary who transports it to Brest. The community’s aims are to increase the number of varieties for selection and facilitate market access for the village’s producers.
Polesie, Region of Brest
tel. +375 295210551