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16 August 2022, 11:54

Lukashenko opines on prospects of Belarus' own sunflower oil production

An archive photo
An archive photo

SMOLEVICHI DISTRICT, 16 August (BelTA) – Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that Belarus can produce sunflower oil on its own. He shared his views on this matter as he visited the selection and seed complex of the Scientific and Practical Center for Arable Farming of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB), BelTA has learned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the scientists whether it makes sense to expand the area under sunflower crops in Belarus. After all, this is about import substitution, as Belarus has to import sunflower oil.

The head of state said that on his way to Smolevichi District he passed a sunflower field. “I cannot say how good the yield is going to be, but this sunflower crops look very good,” he noted. “We need to cultivate sunflowers. Why do we import sunflower oil? Why cannot we produce our own sunflower oil and use sunflower meal as animal feed?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

Sunflower fields can be expanded at the expense of corn fields. Yet if all the necessary technology is observed, the yield in the remaining areas should not drop. At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats suggested focusing on rapeseed and production of rapeseed oil. In his opinion, it can make more economic sense and is less risky.

Aleksandr Lukashenko gave an instruction to test sunflower crops on the president's experimental fields in order to make a final decision. “We need to give it a try. And after that we will make up our mind whether we will produce it on a mass scale or not,” the head of state said.

The same way Belarus once tried to grow winter crops. These crops showed good yields and the experience was scaled up throughout the country.

The cultivation of flax which Aleksandr Lukashenko often calls a ‘political crop' was also discussed in detail.

“There is some progress. This year the yield has improved, although insignificantly, notwithstanding the fact that it was not an easy year for flax,” the president noted.

He urged heads of agricultural enterprises to allocate good land for growing flax, as this will be very instrumental in improving the yield. The head of state promised to revisit the issue in autumn during his trip to Orsha Linen Mill.

Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed the Agriculture and Food Ministry to take action and urged the ministry to wake up from slumber. The ministry has about the same number of people on the staff as the government does. The head of state called the ministry to get involved more deeply in the situation on the ground.

“Therefore, write down a detailed plan for planting winter soybeans, peas, lupins, and so on,” the president said instructing Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo. “Yet, technology is above everything. If technology is observed, you will need less area,” he added.

The head of state inspected the fields that are used to breed new varieties of wheat and leguminous crops. He also visited the production site for the refinement of seed material of the scientific and practical center.

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