The issue of the harvesting campaign and ensuring food security in Belarus, raised at a large-scale conference, received its practical development during the working trips of the Head of State to the regions of the country. From substantive discussions of topical issues to business conversations and on-site inspections. The Slutsk District of the Minsk Region was the first stop in a series of routes of the President.
Aleksandr Lukashenko, in particular, visited Kozlovichi-Agro. It was about the harvest campaign and plans to significantly increase the area under winter barley. Head of State explained why he has been lately paying close attention to this crop,
“Winter barley is salvation for us. Its vegetation time comes at a period when there is some moisture.”
Therefore, winter barley can be harvested earlier than other crops and the machinery can be used more evenly throughout the harvest season. Although winter barley is a demanding crop, it is still possible to secure high yields using the right technology. The presidential fields are showing the yield of about 80 centners per hectare this year. The Kozlovichi-Agro farm has reached similar results.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, if all the grain cultivation technologies are strictly followed and the yields are high, it is possible to plant less grain and allocate more land for protein crops in the future. It is important for breeding cattle which needs quality fodder. Such measures will also help cut on protein imports and save significant funds.
The topic of price caps for foodstuffs of agro-industrial enterprises was also considered. The President noted that in pursuit of the highest possible profit from selling agricultural products, including to foreign markets, one should not forget about the social responsibility, about the need to meet the demand on the domestic market, and the interests of the state that injected significant financial resources into agricultural enterprises.
Heads of some agricultural companies express dissatisfaction with price caps for their products. The President reminded them about the support they received and continue to receive from the government, “There are people who complain.… That specific complaint came from a well-performing company whose head forgot that the whole country contributed to the company’s success.”
Separately, the President asked about the agricultural production rate in the country in general and also about the plans to increase the industry’s GDP by 4 percent compared to the level of the previous year. It was reported that this year’s harvest figures would be better, and milk production would also be gaining momentum. The poultry and pork industries which faced problems for some time are also reaching stable operation.
Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the heads in detail how and by what means it is planned to ensure further growth, and emphasised the need to intensify production. ОАО Kozlovichi-Agro is a strong enterprise, but, the Head of State is sure, it is not loaded to the full. The main thing is to double the number of cattle and milk cattle in the medium term. The possibility of enlarging and adding farmland to the enterprise was also discussed.
The President visited the new dairy farm Lesuny which was built mainly at the expense of the company’s own funds and commissioned in early June 2022. Today, the farm holds 10 percent of the main herd with a rated capacity of 800 head. The farm has a potential to increase its herd to 1,500 head.
Discussing the topic of financing and support for further construction of such complexes on other farms at the suggestion of Minsk Region Governor Aleksandr Turchin, the President underlined that such support should be selective and depend on the prospects, “According to the Head of State, prospects are in further implementation of technology and robotisation of processes. In the end, it gives more profitability and requires less labour resources, the search for which is difficult in some places.
Another point is the need for strict discipline across the staff to prevent the management of well-performing farms from becoming indifferent seeing the example of the work of weaker farms. “This should not be allowed,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
The Head of State praised the businesslike approach of the enterprise’s management to the construction of cattle-breeding premises. Many things are done on their own, which saves money. The President’s requirements in the area of import substitution are the same.
“Everything must be domestic. If we set a goal, we will be able to do everything,” the Head of State said adding that this applies not only to a particular enterprise or agriculture, but to other areas as well.
Based on materials of sb.by and belta.by Photos by BELTA