Belarus President notes improvements in 2017 harvesting campaign after sluggish start

Belarus President notes improvements in 2017 harvesting campaign after sluggish start

The Brest region was the first in Belarus to have harvested one million tons of grain. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made a working trip there on August 10 and will stay there until August 11.

The successes of harvesting were discussed at the grain field of the Kvasevichy farm. The President positively assessed the pace of cropping noting that there are still reserves that need to be involved. Belarusian agrarians should harvest about 10 million tons of grain in 2017 - such figures were announced by the President.

Then followed an unexpected change of route. Alexander Lukashenko visited the agricultural enterprise Kossovo, although it was not planned. It is considered problematic. The decision to change the route is a bright confirmation of the principle that "the leader should be where help is needed".

Harvest in Kvasevichy is good and the farm expects the same profit. The farm is doing well overall. But the President, as always, asks about problems.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We agreed that the chairman of the district executive committee should control such farms together with all the chiefs. Including those that we feel are rather weak, but can get out themselves.

This applies not only to the Brest region, but for the whole country. Especially the most complicated Vitebsk region.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Let's agree on the Vitebsk region this way. I already said to Mikhail Ivanovich: we must stop listening to the lullabies of chiefs and the governor of Vitebsk region. If we see that there is good harvest, it must be cropped, we need to move our machinery there. There will be a problem with dryers. So I already said that we take grain directly from the field, take it to the elevator, process it.

Not offending peasants, from whom we take grain, but we need to crop grain on the fields.

The Brest region, by the way, is in the lead in terms of agricultural products output, although yields in 2017 inspire optimism in the entire country. Together with corn, rapeseed and grain farmers expect up to 10 million tons.

Alexander Lukashenko:
I already feel that everyone is now thoroughly involved in harvesting and there is no need to reproach anyone. But we need to add 10-15% of speed.

Concerning the state order. Again, I put such a task to the Deputy Prime Minister. We want to procure 860,000 tons there. Let's agree that there will be up to a million, maybe a little more. But bread... If he wishes to sell good bread, it must be taken and old reserves must be exchanged. That is we have grain from last year or the year before last.

The old ones should be given for feed, and the new ones should be formed from new harvest. Because grain is good this year.

Fuel question was raised once again. The problem does exist and it needs to be solved.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Our machine operators in some farms have minuscule salaries but they still work long hours. We watched closer and found that they take diesel and sell it without permission of their chiefs. And today's fuel... He can earn 10 his salaries on such theft. Therefore, we have this problem.

By the way, Leonid Konstantinovich, we once discussed this at Alexandriysky. We agreed that we will tint our fuel. You said you would do it, but how long has it been?

Leonid Zayats, Minister of Agriculture and Food:
The most effective today is to install sensors for fuel consumption and control. Now farms are engaged in this. Sensors have been already installed on the most powerful tractors, which consume a lot of fuel.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Well, we'll check you in the near future.

This is one of the Kvasevichi farms.

There are two of them and this one has been reconstructed: milk is now of exceptionally high quality and milk yields are impressive.

Viktor Alexeyuk, Director of OJSC Kvasevichi:
While earlier we had 350 milk-cows, today we keep 600. Today milk is the main income. We thresh rape once a year, but milk is given every day. This is the daily revenue for the farm.

However, not all reconstructed farms can boast of such results, and this is not permissible. The situation needs to be corrected, and, first of all, it is a matter of technology.

Today, the profitability of milk is higher than oil, experts say.

Alexander Lukashenko:
Our opposition, the so-called "fifth column," was giggling asking why I instructed Myasnikovich to draft a plan for the construction of farms. You now understand everything: there would be no agriculture if hadn't made that decision. At least you have money. Those who have good milk live even better.

Modern complexes give farms a constant income, therefore the remaining unfinished objects must be put into operation as soon as possible. These are about 320 farms. The President gave the order to allocate respective funds for that.

Alexander Lukashenko:
A haylage trench should be built wherever a farm will be located and where it will always be. We must build then during this and next year.

Second. We need to build these 1,200 farms. No matter what.

We have a few left. We need about $80 million, but these are estimations. When we start building them, maybe we will need only $50 million. I'll tell you now what to do. We must build these farms, as well as these trenches, especially to these farms, this and next year. You have a year and a half to solve these issues.

How to build? It is necessary to allow building using any methods. If someone wants to use their own resources, if it's significantly cheaper, then we need to allow this option. If not this way, then there are others (we discussed it yesterday). Different ways, but with minimum money. The main thing is quality.

Those farms that don't have haylage trenches can take advantage of the press. Farms can get them from neighboring farms - this practice of mutual assistance is traditional in Belarus. Animal feed should not lose its quality, because this, in the first place, will affect the quality of milk.

Alexander Lukashenko changes the route and goes to one of the problematic farms where problems require urgent solutions. This is Kossovo farm. The farm was struggling and its chairman was replaced a year and a half ago. The situation has improved slightly but it has not yet been able to reach sustainable growth.

Nikolai together with his wife are working on the combine. They promised the President 1,000 tons of grain in the very near future. This dynasty of farmers is in the fields every year. The father of the head of the family worked as a mechanic for more than half a century, and his son became a tractor driver. Moreover, women in this family do not remain sidelined.

The farm is far from exemplary. This is where the President went, which was also unplanned. However, locals are glad to see the country's leader. People are not afraid of speaking about problems. After all this is the only was to solve them. People have enough work and livestock. They are busy with the improvement of the farm but say would appreciate any help.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We will find 200,000. But this must become an ideal farm by November. With ideal conditions for livestock and ideal people.

Vyacheslav Shestak, Director of OAO Kossovo:
We have a milking parlor. We will build a farm nearby and make it exemplary. We now milk 10 tons of milk a day, we will reach 14-15 tons. And this will be enough for this farm to exist.

Leonid Zayats:
Revenue of the agro-industrial complex is about $2.5 billion. Each dollar invested in the development of the agro-industrial complex brought three dollars of foreign exchange earnings.

Regarding problematic farms: general mechanisms of recovery are developed and decisions are made in each specific case.