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29 August 2022, 12:26

Lukashenko discusses harvesting campaign, agricultural groups, vaccines with Vitebsk Oblast governor

MINSK, 29 August (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko met with Chairman of the Vitebsk Oblast Executive Committee Aleksandr Subbotin and discussed progress of the harvesting campaign, the work of integrated enterprises in agriculture, and the production of Belarusian vaccines, BelTA has learned.

Progress of agricultural work in the region was high on the agenda: the harvesting campaign, the fodder conservation, and the sowing of winter rapeseed. Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “It turns out you have to be the first one to harvest and the first one to sow although you are the last one to sow in spring. This is why you have to sow it fast: Vitebsk Oblast is a land of risky agriculture after all. With that in mind it is necessary to promptly release fields after harvesting and prepare them for sowing. How are you doing in that regard?”

Aleksandr Subbotin
Aleksandr Subbotin

The work of integrated agribusiness structures was another important item on the agenda. The president always keeps an eye on it. “You and I shook up the Vitebsk one back in the day after all. It seems that people have come to realize – Vitebsk Oblast residents have done well. You just have to inspire people to work without offending them,” he stressed.

Aleksandr Lukashenko went on saying: “Pharmaceutics, biotechnologies, and nanotechnologies represent another matter. It turns out we've set out to make vaccines of our own. What is the state of affairs regarding the development of our key enterprise – BelVitunipharm?”

According to the governor, harvesting proceeds vigorously in Vitebsk Oblast, many agricultural enterprises have already finished the harvesting campaign, and local harvest end festivals have been held in some places. Aleksandr Subbotin said: “We are now redeploying the machines in order to help out the agricultural enterprises that are lagging behind. It has been decided at the oblast level and we now actively control it.”

Aleksandr Subbotin did not come to the Palace of Independence empty-handed: the governor brought a round loaf to the president in honor of gathering in 1 million tonnes of cereals. Slightly more than 89% of the area under crops has been harvested in Vitebsk Oblast. According to Aleksandr Subbotin, the region harvested as much only in 1976 and 2014. It was kind of a heroic deed for the region.

The second victory of Vitebsk, about which the governor informed the president with pleasure and informed mass media later on, was the local team's performance at the Salei Ice Hockey Cup. On 28 August the Vitebsk team beat the Gomel team and won the cup for the first time on record.

Speaking about the performance of agricultural industrial groups, Aleksandr Subbotin noted they can feel results of their work but the performance indicators could have been higher. “They are slightly behind the targets they have set themselves. Earnings are on the rise and there is profit. Profit margins are increasing but we are still underperforming a bit. This is why the conversation revolved around how these structures are supposed to evolve. Whether it is necessary to separate the milk industry and the meat industry. The conversation was quite profound,” the governor said while talking about details of the meeting with the head of state.

According to Aleksandr Subbotin, Vitebsk Oblast can become kind of a scientific and manufacturing cluster for making various vaccines. For instance, local universities have already allowed creating a pool of professors and lecturers, who know peculiarities of these matters well. The BelVitunipharm enterprise is already building a new factory to make a COVID-19 vaccine. It will be a universal factory. In other words, it will be able to make any other vaccines, too.

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