The agro-industrial complex of Belarus will reach a new level of development
The President of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, took part in the plenary session of the national seminar-conference to discuss the development of the cattle breeding industry in Soligorsk
According to the President, many problems have accumulated in the industry, and they must be solved without shelving them. Aleksandr Lukashenko said about this matter,
“The current situation in the country’s cattle breeding industry is simply unacceptable; we need to act, increase the responsibility of personnel for the results and, most importantly, to strengthen discipline. It is in livestock farming, or more precisely, in processing, that the reserves of the Belarusian village are concentrated today… After all, as you all know, the demand for food in the world is huge, prices are growing and will continue to grow, and new markets are opening up. It is simply a crime to sit idly in such a unique situation.”
Over the past decades, Belarus has done a lot to develop its own agriculture. However, the Head of State is convinced: it is not time to rest on our laurels, but to take advantage of the emerging situation on the world market. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasises: it is necessary to strengthen work in the agro-industrial complex, not because we ourselves do not have enough food, but because we need to look to the future: Belarusian agriculture is already a whole brand, today food is in price, and tomorrow it will be worth its weight in gold!
• The President emphasised that the animal husbandry industry plays a key role in the rural economy, “This sector makes more than half of all agricultural products and forms the country’s export potential. Indeed, there are certain successes.”
The level of self-sufficiency in milk exceeds 260 percent, in meat — 130 percent. In other words, we fully ensure our own food security and sell the surplus to foreign markets.
Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that last year the country earned over $8 billion from food, and in eight months of this year — more than $4 billion.
• The Head of State assessed the efforts to increase milk production as extremely slow. In 2022, we added only 1 percent to the level of 2021 (7.6 million tonnes), “Judging objectively, this modest growth was provided by Brest Region, Grodno Region and Minsk Region only.”
Milk yield is also not encouraging. Aleksandr Lukashenko specifies in numbers, “The national average yield per cow was 5,518 kilogrammes in 2022. The growth made only 2 percent and was ensured by the same three regions. Gomel Region and Mogilev Region had it slightly over 4,000 kilogrammes, while Vitebsk Region failed to reach even 4,000 kilogrammes 3,960 kilogrammes. Almost a quarter of all milk producers across the country and half of those in Mogilev Region and Gomel Region milked less than 3,000 kilogrammes per cow on average. As many as 22 organisations did not reach the yield of 1,500 kilogrammes per cow.”
• The Head of State noted that half of all dairy farms in the country are equipped with the most modern technologies. More than 65 percent of the dairy herd is housed there and more than 70 percent of the milk is produced.
“Therefore, we will raise the rest to this level. No matter how they resist. We will continue to modernise livestock breeding facilities. We shouldn’t have farms, we should turn farms into dairy complexes,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
• Speaking about the situation in the sphere of meat animal husbandry, the Belarusian leader pointed out that in the last ten years the year 2020 was the most successful one, “We received 1.76 million tonnes of meat and poultry. But for some reason we couldn’t hold on to this achievement later on. Cattle production dropped in Gomel Region, Vitebsk Region, and Mogilev Region in 2022. Virtually every fifth agricultural enterprise across the country reported average daily weight gains under 400 grammes. Almost every other agricultural enterprise in Gomel Region and Mogilev Region operated at this level of performance.”
Naturally, it is impossible to increase the growth rate of milk and meat output without increasing the livestock population.
• In poultry farming, the President demanded the creation of a breeding and genetic centre and reduce the industry’s dependence on imports. After all, there is still no alternative in the country to importing chickens for the production of hatching eggs. Aleksandr Lukashenko
is confused, “You have been telling me about these chickens and eggs for some 5–10 years. Can’t we finally start producing them ourselves? We need to ensure our own breeding products. There is a need for a breeding and genetic centre, similar to the one the cattle breeders have. You have six months to develop a business plan, and this project must be implemented next year.”
• Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he doesn’t urge to introduce space technologies in agriculture, the main thing is to fix the bottlenecks that exist today. And again it reminds us that it is better to fight ‘in the field’ than at the front.
Priorities in livestock farming
The Head of State outlined fundamental principles, “From now on iron, unconditional discipline will become the motto of agribusiness. Labour discipline. Financial discipline. Technological discipline. You have to do what you have to do.”
Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the government together with the Agriculture and Food Ministry, heads of the regional administrations, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus under firm control of law enforcement and oversight agencies to ensure the realisation of the key directions. FIRST — strict observance of zootechnic and veterinary norms of keeping and feeding of cattle and poultry. SECOND — prevention of the loss of cattle. THIRD — the need to stock up on feed to fully meet the demand of the public animal husbandry industry while observing technological requirements and industry-specific regulations. FOURTH — increasing the economic effectiveness of the animal husbandry industry on the basis of stock breeding. FIFTH — it is necessary to increase the workload of meat-packing plants while ruling out criminal schemes during cattle sales. SIXTH — order in bookkeeping of agricultural enterprises, including initial records of cattle transfers and statistic reports. SEVENTH — it is necessary to staff agricultural enterprises with veterinary specialists and workers. EIGHTH — unwavering observance of internal labour regulations, labour discipline, standing requirements for manufacturing processes and the quality of products by workers of agricultural enterprises.
Summing up the results of the plenary session of the national seminar-conference, Aleksandr Lukashenko outlined key guidelines that, in principle, relate not only to livestock farming, but also to other industries. The establishing of order in the country
— I simply warn you: I have instructed the Internal Affairs Minister, the Prosecutor General, and Chairman of the State Control Committee to put things in order in the country and primarily in agriculture.
— I simply warn you: the pressure from law enforcement control agencies during the winter stall period, especially from January 1st, will be furious. And, no offence.
The President asked the controllers: before reporting to him about facts of mismanagement, discuss issues with the governors. Take action and don’t stop
The Belarusian leader noted that time now forces us to act actively and not stop. Especially considering that the coming years will be difficult for the vertical of power. Particularly, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasised, for the ‘troika’ in the regions (the representative of the Head of State for the region, the governor and presidential aide), “You should conduct election campaigns there. We must show everyone that we have a country, and we will govern this country.”
In Soligorsk, the President held a meeting with Director General of Belaruskali Ivan Golovaty
“I’d like you to inform me about the situation at the enterprise. Just the two of us. Sincerely. Without fear. Although you don’t scare easily. But nevertheless,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
First, the Head of State wondered what problems Belaruskali is encountering now and how the work to master port facilities in Russia was proceeding, “How are we doing there? What else do we need to do? And the key question: how do you feel considering the terrible sanctions-fuelled pressure on the enterprise?”
As reported by Ivan Golovaty, the enterprise is now operating at 80 percent of its capacity. In his words, the figure is much higher than the one registered at the beginning of the year, “Your instruction to make and export at least 8 million tonnes will be fulfilled. We already project it will be done based on the results of 9 months.”