MINSK, 10 March (BelTA) – While talking about prospects of development of agriculture at a session of the Council of Ministers on 10 March, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko identified the priorities Belarusian agrarians are supposed to focus on this year, BelTA has learned.
Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “We've received a truly record-high harvest and record-high export earnings. We are working to improve the animal husbandry industry this year. It is necessary to advance our agriculture to new heights. The conditions are favorable: a good harvest yield, the feed availability may not be 100% but it has been increased. Although I am told that half of the country's districts are still unable to stop the decreasing cattle numbers. Gather all the strength into a fist and enforce iron-clad production discipline. Everything here depends only on discipline.”
The president also drew attention to problems with stabilization funds. The State Control Committee reports these problems to the head of state year after year: bad storage conditions, low quality of products, and excessive stock in storage. Once the current storage period is over, the head of state wants a report on how the government and the oblast governors had performed. “The inquiry will be serious. Every governor will have to answer for every rotten apple,” Aleksandr Lukashenko warned.
“Of course, there will be no demand and no reduction of the stock in storage if everything withers away or gets rotten by mid-winter. I want oblast governors to explain who evaluates conditions, in which the products are stored,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “But it is just one side of the coin. How are retail chains integrated into this business? We want farmers to work extra hard in order to provide the population with quality Belarusian foods at affordable prices while retailers have no obligations to sell what is grown in the native land. I want the oblast governors to seriously look into this problem.”
On the whole, it is necessary to advance Belarus' agribusiness to new heights and all the reserves are available for it, the president stressed.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also touched upon land amelioration. He noted it is necessary to put more effort into it, reclaim these lands fully, and keep them in a proper condition. The head of state reminded that volumes of reclamation work had been approved and financed and a nationwide seminar to discuss these matters took place in autumn. “Everything was explained in detail then. Just go ahead and do things. God forbid if these lands become swamps or become overgrown once again. Heads of municipal administrations will be held personally responsible,” the Belarusian leader warned.
After reminding those present about the forthcoming sowing campaign, Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to carry it out without a hitch. “Food production is a highly profitable business today. Prices are crazy. They have never been that high and may not be that high in the future. This is why you have to think today where we will store things,” he remarked.