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31 May 2023, 11:00

PM: Belarusians should have access to off-season vegetables at reasonable prices

MINSK, 31 May (BelTA) - People should have access to cucumbers and tomatoes in the off-season at affordable prices, Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said at a meeting to discuss the development of the country's greenhouse industry on 31 May, BelTA has learned.

“The key issue in the development of the greenhouse sector is to provide the population with vegetables in the off-season at affordable prices, as the head of state has ordered. We considered the issue in March, heard the report, gave a number of instructions to develop the organizational and financial measures to stimulate and support the production of in-demand vegetable products, especially cucumbers and tomatoes, in the off-season period. We have no such problems in spring and summer,” Roman Golovchenko said.

The Agriculture and Food Ministry has been tasked to develop a plan-schedule to upgrade and construct greenhouse facilities, and also to work out a complex of organizational and financial measures to ensure efficient development of the greenhouse sector. Today's meeting hosted by the prime minister focused on the fulfillment of these instructions and the plan of further work to provide the population with off-season vegetables.

Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo told the media that the annual production of cucumbers and tomatoes in Belarus exceeded the domestic consumption of these products. “There is, however, an off-season period (from November to March) when there is a deficit of cucumbers and tomatoes in our country. Therefore, the head of state and the government have set a task to make up for the lacking volumes,” he said.

There is a shortage of 8,500 tonnes of cucumbers in the off-season. “This problem has been practically solved. We will produce in the off-season period more than 9,000 tonnes thanks to shifting the technological terms of production and higher yields. This means we will fully meet domestic needs in vegetables,” the minister said.

There is also a shortage of over 19,000 tonnes of tomatoes. “Here we need several years to fill the gap. We have selected farms, which will be provided with additional light so that they could produce tomatoes in winter. By the end of this year we will add 25-30% to our tomato production, and we will come close to 100% domestic production within three years,” the agriculture and food minister said.

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