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Belarus President criticizes preparations for 2017 harvesting campaign

Alexander Lukashenko held an online conference on the progress of the 2017 harvesting campaign on August 1.

This is a brainstorming which decisions will ensure the country's food security.

Leaders of Belarusian regions were in contact with the President online. At the table, next to the President, are ministers of relevant departments and specialists in the field of agriculture. The harvesting campaign 2017 is taking place in difficult conditions: the vagaries of the weather have ruined plans: agrarians are 8-10 days behind. The head of state set the task of urgently accelerating the pace of harvesting.

Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus:
Now the pace of grain harvesting is extremely low, no more than 2-3% of the area is harvested per day. I will immediately note that everything that depends on the state for a successful harvest campaign has been done. Financial resources are available, farms are provided with machinery (at least, no one questions machinery). I signed last week my corresponding order on fuel.

However, I am informed that a number of regions poorly prepared for harvesting.

There are defective combine harvesters - 7% of the total in the republic. Freely you can add 2%, because there is plenty of lies. Therefore, we are talking about 8%. And what is amazing, you have not been able to repair grain dryers during winter and spring. There is a shortage of machine operators at farms. It's bad. I have an impression that you were not going to harvest it altogether. Not everywhere have you properly taken care of the provision of equipment with fuel, spare parts, which is why time wasting is possible.

We must not allow, as it often happens, that harvesting campaign mechanism works reluctantly. This is fraught with inevitable losses, which we must not allow this year.

The majority of harvesting should be completed in the first half, or as a last resort - until August 20.

In this regard, I want to hear the following from the officials responsible for the course of the harvesting campaign. Firstly, why did not they prepare machinery for harvesting? What is the level of readiness, first of all, of combine harvesters? At the same time I warn you about the inadmissibility of lies, you will be held accountable for this twice. The Minister of the Interior, under the control of the State Secretariat, was given all the powers to bring all those responsible to justice. As I am reported, the police began to fulfill their duties to monitor the technical condition of machinery at farms.

The only goal is to prevent losses. I turned the attention of the Minister of Agriculture (twice a month ago) to controlling harvesting quality, starting with rapeseed harvesting.

It is not only weather that is responsible for failures. Today, blatant facts of mismanagement were voiced by the State Control Committee.

Leonid Anfimov, Chairman of the State Control Committee of the Republic of Belarus:
It is impossible to explain such a situation when at the beginning of harvesting, none of the existing harvesters was prepared for work. As, for example, at the farm "Rubezhnitsa" of the Lioznensky district, as of July 28, 2017, all the nine combine harvesters were not ready for work, as well as two grain dryers. At the Veliatichi poultry farm in the Borisov district, as of July 26, four combine harvesters were in a faulty condition, and their repair was not carried out.

These are not individual facts.

By that time, the Belarusian agrarians had already harvested the first million tons of grain. Hard work is going on the fields of all regions of Belarus. On August 1, the northern regions joined the harvesting. Yield has grown to 33.7 centners per hectare.

Plans are to harvest more than 7 million tons of grain.

Belarus President criticizes preparations for 2017 harvesting campaign