Belarus President wants higher return from investments in agriculture

Belarus President wants higher return from investments in agriculture

The Belarus President on March 27 discussed with ministers the improvement of the efficiency of the agricultural sector. Alexander Lukashenko demanded a report on the real situation in agriculture. 

Agribusiness is under constant control of the President. In 2014 alone, there were adopted several decrees aimed to improve the situation in the industry. Decisions were made on all issues of rural development and huge resources invested. In view of this, the state is waiting for return from all areas of agriculture.

Sowing campaign is underway in Belarus. A quarter of farmland has been sown. The Gomel and Brest regions are among the leaders. Traditionally, sowing starts a bit later in the north. Some farms of the Vitebsk region have problems with fuel.

Agribusiness in Belarus includes processing industries, agricultural cooperatives and farms.

Olga Yurut, CTV correspondent:
Agribusiness for each of us is first of all associated with food. And across the country, this is a good support for the economy as a whole. Especially because Belarusians have learned to not only manufacture products, but also export. For example, Belarusian dairy industry is a brand in itself. The state has always supported the village and agriculture. And now the development of this key sector of our economy will be discussed at the meeting with the the president.

Senior officials, bankers and farmers. Invited to discuss the situation in the agricultural sector were also successful privateers. Belarus has seemingly created all conditions for the development of the agricultural sector. We produce mineral fertilizers, and agricultural machinery and have also mastered the best technology in this field. We produce meat at the level of Germany and are twice ahead of advanced European countries in terms of milk production. However, economic results of Belarusian agricultural enterprises began to shrink.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:  
We have very seriously analyzed the situation in the countryside. And it has been said that if you need, the President signs three, four or five decrees and agriculture is revived.
We started the sowing campaign. It is still too early to tell whether we have some improvements in agriculture. I would like to hear about it today in detail.
I warn you that we will consider the strategic issues of agricultural development after the first quarter. In April, as agreed, we will do it in the Vitebsk, Mogilev and Brest regions where new governors came. Maybe they will be more frank when saying about the problems that exist. Based on the fact that it is not they who are to blame.
Today, I'm interested in more tactical issues. We have made decisions on all issues of rural development and spent enormous resources in order for agriculture to work normally.

There are, however, problems in agriculture, as in other industries, and no one hides it. But as soon as an issue arises, the authorities try to immediately solve it. Due to external factors, in 2015 farms were desperately short of money.

Viktor Pivko, head of the State Control Committee office for the Grodno region:
At the early stage, of course we had questions concerning repairs, and the accumulation of fertilizers due to the financial problems. We tracked this thing. We sent a letter to the regional executive committee about the problems that exist. To date, these issues are being resolved.

Funds for equipment and fuel were eventually found. Chemical fertilizers are no more in short supply. Difficulties with financial obligations of agribusinesses may be solved in the near future.

Leonid Zayats, Agriculture and Food Minister of Belarus:
Serious work is underway in banks on investment projects and leasing with the aim to push these payables. This money will remain part of these floating assets with a view to be able to invest more and better resources in technology.
Given that this spring came very early and we have limited stocks of soil moisture, the task is to take all measures with a view to complete literally in the coming days all the field work associated with the sowing of spring crops.  

The March 27 meeting was more about tactical decisions - the daily affairs and even routine. Strategic issues of agricultural development will be talked over at another meeting of the President, which will take place later when the state has first specific figures.