MINSK, 27 September (BelTA) – This year's harvest is sufficient to meet the domestic demand for agricultural raw materials in Belarus, BelTA learned from the official Telegram channel of the Belarusian Agriculture and Food Ministry.
"The agricultural industry, especially crop production, is, in fact, an ‘open-air production floor', dependent on weather and climatic conditions. The year 2020 was more favorable in terms of weather. The production of major crops was good. The harvest of grass feed was a record high, enough to last for a year and a half. At the same time, the current year was more extreme in terms of weather, which did not allow farmers to achieve last year's results for a number of crops," the ministry noted in its channel.
“Yet, this year's forecasts for most indicators are higher than the average for the past five years,” the ministry said. Thus, for the past five years the gross harvest of grain and legumes has averaged, after processing, 7,332,000 tonnes. In 2021 it is projected at 7,460,000 tonnes, up by 2% over the five-year average. The gross harvest of buckwheat after processing is forecast at the level of 2020 – 28,000 tonnes, up by 49% over the five-year average.
This year the production of rapeseed is projected at 720,000 tonnes, or 138% against the five-year average, that of sugar beet at 4.8 million tonnes, or 105% against the five-year average.
"These production volumes are sufficient to meet the needs of the domestic market in agricultural raw materials. For example, to meet the domestic demand for bakery, cereals and pasta at affordable prices, the government has procured 831,000 tonnes of food grain, or 11% of the total gross grain production. The decrease in the procurement order is associated with the general trend towards reducing the consumption of bakery products. For the past five years, the government procurement order has averaged 869,000 tonnes of food grain, including about 10,000 tonnes of buckwheat," the ministry said.
The procurement target for rapeseed oilseed has been set at 100,000 tonnes, or 14% of its expected production in 2021. The surplus of rapeseed and rapeseed oil, as in previous years, will be exported.
To fully provide the domestic market with sugar, the government is set to procure 3 million tonnes of sugar beets. The Belarusian sugar refineries will process the remaining 1.8 million tonnes for export purposes.