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19 August 2022, 14:43

Prime minister in Gomel Oblast to review harvesting campaign progress, animal husbandry state

ROGACHEV DISTRICT, 19 August (BelTA) – Prime Minister of Belarus Roman Golovchenko is in Gomel Oblast on a working trip. Progress of the harvesting campaign and the state of affairs in the animal husbandry industry are on the agenda of the trip, BelTA has learned.

The first location on the prime minister's itinerary was the agricultural enterprise SUP Zabolotye-2010 in the agrotown of Zapolye. Roman Golovchenko went to a field owned by the enterprise, was made familiar with progress of the harvesting campaign in the oblast and the district, and went to a dairy farm housing 600 head of cattle. The dairy farm was commissioned in 2019 and supplies only top-quality products. There are a total of 767 animal husbandry facilities and 194 agricultural enterprises in the region. The number of agricultural enterprises will be reduced to about 160 by the end of the year since small ones will be merged with larger ones.

As many as 17 agricultural enterprises operate in Rogachev District and SUP Zabolotye-2010 is one of the largest ones. The enterprise is located in the area designated for supplying raw materials to Rogachev Milk Canning Factory and enjoys appropriate support from the factory. The agricultural workers led by a young director are intent on producing results, which are achieved through labor discipline and decent labor remuneration. The average salary is Br1,200 while the number of workers is close to 400 people.

There are six dairy farms and three commercial farms in Zabolotye, with 2,850 cows in the milking herd. Nearly 47 tonnes of milk is produced daily (102% as against last year) for Rogachev Milk Canning Factory. Extra quality milk accounts for 80% of the output while top-quality milk makes up 20%. Most of the milk is used to make baby food. The agricultural enterprise also specializes in making beef and earns about Br300,000 per month by selling meat alone. Calves are fattened till they reach specified commercial weight and are slaughtered at Zhlobin Meat Processing and Packing Factory.

The SUP Zabolotye-2010 management is convinced that high quality of meat products can be achieved primarily thanks to good feed. Workers of the enterprise harvest fodder on their own. For instance, the enterprise is about to start harvesting maize for silage. Executive Director of SUP Zabolotye-2010 Maksim Bekhtin noted: “There are no problems with the availability of fodder. Nearly 18,000 tonnes of haylage has been stocked as of today, over 100% as against last year. However, we keep working and are already doing the third grass cutting, preparing haylage.”

The area to be harvested was close to 31,000 hectares in Rogachev District this year. The figure includes spring and winter cereals without buckwheat and millet. As of today over 80% of the area has been processed, with over 52,000 tonnes of cereals produced. The average yield stands at 24 centners per hectare, 2.3 centners per hectare up from 2021. Rogachev District has started sowing winter barley this year, with 842 hectares of land sown with this crop. Local agrarians are getting a yield of 31 centners per hectare (even 39 centners per hectare in some agricultural enterprises). The result is above average. This year the area under winter barley will be increased by nearly 70% to 3,500 hectares.

Progress of fulfilling the government procurement contracts has already reached 70%, with 93% of the brewer's barley the state needs already delivered. So far three agricultural enterprises have finished the cereals harvesting campaign, including SUP Zabolotye-2010, which is supposed to finish it today. The gross cereals harvest stands at 9,500 tonnes, with the average yield in the agricultural enterprise at 30 centners per hectare, 2.8 centners per hectare up from 2021. The total farmland area in SUP Zabolotye-2010 amounts to 11,000ha, including 8,000ha of arable land.

Gomel Oblast is expected to gather in about 830,000 tonnes of cereals this year, up from nearly 790,000 tonnes in 2021. So far about 80% of the targeted area has been processed, with the average yield at 24.2 centners per hectare. Weather permitting, the harvesting campaign will be finished within a week. This year's results demonstrated that the structure of the crops has to change. For instance, the area under winter barley will be increased from 6,200ha in 2022 to 39,000ha in 2023. By the way, the yield of winter barley amounted to 35 centners per hectare (to compare, the yield of spring barley stands at 21 centners per hectare). The total area under winter crops will be increased from 300,000ha to 360,000ha. In turn, areas under spring oat and barley will be reduced.

According to Chairman of the Gomel Oblast Executive Committee Ivan Krupko, agriculture can work and can produce good results. It is important to follow the technology and have good weather. The region has had to deal with rainless weather for the last five years. It had an effect on crop husbandry and animal husbandry, with milk and meat production falling. It takes a considerable amount of time to stabilize the situation afterwards. Experienced personnel, who understand the strategy in crop husbandry and peculiarities of animal husbandry, is another important factor for agriculture. The Gomel Oblast administration focuses on young people, who get trained and enjoy all kinds of support, including financial support and housing.

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