Taking care of Turov land
During his working trip to the Gomel Region, the President of Belarus announced that he urges complete fulfilment of 2011-2015 state programme for socio-economic development and complex use of natural resources of the Pripyat Polesie area. Alexander Lukashenko was interested to learn what has been done so far.
By Veniamin Khmelevsky
The Chairman of the Board of the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Rumas said that a lot is being done now: the construction of several facilities is underway, farms are being reconstructed, and money is being invested in tourism development. Meanwhile, some projects have been removed from the programme, e.g., plans to build a factory to freeze vegetables in Turov were scrapped. Yet Mr. Rumas believes that the enterprise could give a boost to the development of the raw materials supply. In his words, it is necessary to make ‘a vegetable garden to feed the nation’ out of Turov. “The land is good here and everything grows well. You can grow vegetables here, freeze, combine all the steps into a production cycle,” he said adding that the factory has to work for at least eight months per year starting with freezing broccoli, then berries, mushrooms, other vegetables while potato freezing has to be done all year round. “If we have to build a factory like that somewhere, Turov is the best place,” Mr. Rumas is convinced.
“If the enterprise supplies promising products to the market, an endless one at that, then the enterprise will encourage farmers to grow these crops — from broccoli to potatoes,” said the President. Mr. Lukashenko underlined that he is interested in results and earnings while smooth production and sales are vital for this.
The Head of State also tackled the situation with marble meat production. Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy said that eight enterprises had mastered the technology. At present, everything is being done to reduce production costs. Unrestricted grazing is used as much as possible; however, weather conditions keep cattle in their pens for half a year.
Mr. Lukashenko warned officials that all the promises they had given to the Head of State must be fulfilled. “Stop making promises. I need results. If you’ve made a promise, act upon it. I’m not going to travel all over the country and do your work for you,” said the Head of State.
In this respect, Mr. Lukashenko reminded about the instruction to build and reconstruct 1,200 farms across Belarus. The Head of State was informed that as many as 1,000 farms will be completed this year. Vitebsk, Brest and Mogilev regions have been unable to fulfil the presidential instruction for now. Mr. Lukashenko reminded officials about responsibility for lying.
“Some think: I’ll just wait for someone to bring money and invest in farm reconstruction. I saw photos of some old farms yesterday. This is something out of the Stone Age! Don’t show me these pretty farms today, I want to know about those old farms. Your efforts are needed there, too,” said the Head of State.
“If you fail to accomplish the programme, heads will roll,” stressed Mr. Lukashenko while addressing towards members of the government. He also instructed First Deputy Chairman of the State Control Committee Leonid Anfimov and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Valery Ivanov to verify the fulfilment of the programme as a whole and at every facility. “I don’t want to hear fairytales and see ‘museums’ that have been prepped for my visit,” said the President.
“We cannot afford losing Turov land! There are top quality lands over there. They are rare even on the global scale! We’ve agreed that the land will not be a vegetable garden only, it will be an example to follow,” emphasised Mr. Lukashenko. “I need a beacon of tomorrow here, not a beacon of today,” he added.