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President
11 November 2022, 16:00

Lukashenko warns against delaying land reclamation efforts

TOLOCHIN DISTRICT, 11 November (BelTA) – In order to operate and reconstruct the country's land reclamation systems it is necessary to use the existing potential to the fullest, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the plenary session of the national workshop to discuss restoration and use of reclaimed lands in Belarus on 11 November, BelTA has learned.

“The problems in the sector have reached a critical level. If we wait another 5-7 years we will never be able to address these issues. We will not have huge funds to carry out land reclamation all over again. Today we do not need to build something from scratch, like we had to do 50 years ago. Now the main task is to operate and reconstruct land reclamation systems. We have almost 5,000 of them in the country. In other words, it is necessary to keep all the facilities in good working condition by carrying out timely routine maintenance and repair works, reconstructing locks-regulators, flood spillways and so on. As I often say, we need iron discipline and order. Just do what you have to do,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

There is potential for that, the president added. “We just need to tap into it in full,” said the head of state.

According to the president, the entire lineup of necessary equipment is produced domestically. Belarus does not depend on any imports or sanctions in this matter. “That is half the work when you have necessary equipment,” the head of state said.

There is the Institute of Land Reclamation in the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. It is busy with scientific support for land reclamation works and the efficiency of the land reclamation network maintenance. "A scientist is best positioned to explain to everyone the benefits of land reclamation. It's not a whim. The payback period of projects to reconstruct drainage systems is from 9 to 12 years. But that was the case in 2019-2020. Taking into account current prices, primarily for grain, in view of the annual increase in harvest in reclaimed lands (at least up by 40 centners of feed units per hectare), this payback period will decrease to 3-4 years, well, 5 years," Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. “Name such a project with a payback of 5 years. Any businessman will take it up."

"We will listen to reports of the government, governors, heads of enterprises what needs to be done to fulfill the land reclamation plans and to ensure stable and efficient operation of the reclaimed land complex. It includes 135 organizations (22 affiliated with the Agriculture and Food ministry and 113 municipal companies) which employ almost 10,000 people. These people should know a scope of work o be done by not only until the end of the five-year plan but by 2030 and possibly by 2035. Today we are discussing and making decisions regarding the volumes, sources of financing. The task to calculate and weigh everything was set repeatedly," the president recalled.

The head of state asked what real economic return may be on these investments and the measures taken. "I ask those who will speak to comply with the regulations. There is no need to raise our awareness. We know what needs to be done, people present here are well-informed. Please, stay on point. Upon returning home after these events, everyone should understand what to do, how and in what time frame," he summed up.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also instructed to schedule his visit to a reclamation facility in order to get acquainted with the ongoing work on the spot.

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