MINSK, 29 September (BelTA) – It is necessary to finish autumn sowing as soon as possible. Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko made the statement during a meeting of the taskforce in charge of carrying out field work on time, BelTA has learned.
Roman Golovchenko said: “Only full mobilization and concentration will allow ensuring the country's food security. Without an exaggeration every kilogram of the harvest is worth its weight in gold. Finishing the sowing of winter cereals as fast as possible, finishing autumn tilling work, accumulating and applying mineral and organic fertilizers where necessary represent a number one priority. The next year's harvest depends on it. We've agreed to mobilize all the possible resources at the local level, organize work in two shifts and in three shifts where possible, and ensure the effective use of the hardware. No doubt the weather has something to do with our lagging behind an optimal schedule. Nevertheless, it is necessary to accomplish the head of state's instructions concerning faster sowing.”
As of 29 September winter crops were sown on about 850,000 hectares or 58% of the targeted area. Progress is 18% or 188,000 hectares behind last year's level. It is necessary to sow crops on 100,000 hectares per day in order to finish the autumn sowing campaign within the specified time frame. However, crops were sown on 61,000ha on 27 September and 62,000ha on 28 September. “Measures are being taken to increase the pace but they are still insufficient,” Roman Golovchenko said. “We are a total of three days behind last year's level for now.”
If the current trends continue, Brest Oblast will need 6 days to finish autumn sowing, Vitebsk Oblast 12 days, Gomel Oblast 14 days, Grodno Oblast 9 days, Minsk Oblast 10 days, and Mogilev Oblast 9 days. “According to the information the government receives, the oblast administrations have yet to take exhaustive measures to deploy all the working machines and vehicles for this work,” Roman Golovchenko said.
While talking to reporters Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Subbotin pointed out that autumn sowing is behind schedule partially because precipitation was way above the norm in September. “On good days we want to use the opportunity and sow as much winter crops as possible. We intend to finish the work next week,” he said.
The harvesting campaign is also nearing completion. According to Aleksandr Subbotin, nearly half of the area under potatoes has been harvested and 14% of the area under sugar beet has been harvested. Only 10% of the area under flax is left to be harvested.