SOLIGORSK, 22 September (BelTA) – Summing up results of the plenary session of the nationwide seminar-conference held on 22 September to discuss the development of the cattle breeding industry, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko formulated key guidelines for the industry, BelTA has learned.
The state of affairs in the animal husbandry industry was discussed with regard to the entire country and with regard to individual oblasts, districts, and agricultural enterprises.
Minsk Oblast Governor Aleksandr Turchin said that in 2022 the gross output of agricultural enterprises totaled Br5.2 billion. Animal husbandry industry products accounted for 61% of the total output or Br3.2 billion.
For the last few years the output of the Minsk Oblast animal husbandry industry has been steadily rising. Poultry farming and milk production demonstrated the highest growth. The governor also mentioned an increase in the economic effectiveness of the animal husbandry industry. The profitability of cattle farming rose from 0% to 7.5%. It is now necessary to further improve economic parameters, increase profits in order to invest in production development and in making it more effective.
Chairman of the Grodno District Executive Committee Valery Khelsky presented a report during the plenary session of the seminar-conference. Considering the focus of the conference, Grodno District looks interesting because it is Belarus' best in many agribusiness parameters, including milk yield – 9,258kg per cow per annum. When the president wondered about the secret behind the high milk production figure, the head of the district administration mentioned three simple components: good supply of forage on a permanent basis, stable executive personnel and workers as well as technological and production discipline.
The president remarked in response: “No space technologies. Nothing extraordinary. You just feed them on time, milk them on time, and show up for work on time.” He pointed out that despite the high performance figures the enterprise can improve many production indicators without resorting to some bleeding-edge and innovative methods that scientists sometimes talk about but by meeting the basic requirements.
Oleg Burak, Director of OAO Ostromechevo, which tops performance charts in many parameters not only in Brest Oblast but also in the country, also presented his formula of success. It is based on personnel, cows, forage, and comfort. “If one of these factors is missing, you can forget about future effective work in the industry. This is why we primarily focus on these four factors,” the executive said.
The discussion touched upon ways to support such good-performing enterprises when they implement projects to modernize production and expand their base. Today the government primarily focuses on turning around underperforming enterprises, on providing the necessary aid and support to them, including with credit resources. Meanwhile, the most successful agricultural enterprises have to rely only on their own resources in the course of realizing promising development projects. This is why the president gave instructions to get to the bottom of the situation and provide support to such effective and successful top performers if possible because they are at the forefront, are busy introducing new technologies, and, most importantly, they produce very good results.
“We have to separately keep in mind such agricultural enterprises. We will think about ways to support them and support their programs and projects because if they take out a loan, they will repay it. They should be treated appropriately. Moreover, the state is interested in it. If they take [a loan] within the framework of some program, then the program will be realized and we will get meat and milk in the end. After all, they deserve special treatment,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The conversation with Agriculture and Food Minister Sergei Bartosh raised the matter of completion of the harvesting campaign and the harvesting of forage. The head of state demanded that the work pace should be accelerated as long as good weather lasts. “You have to work harder,” the president noted.
As for the development of the animal husbandry industry and in particular, the resolution of the problem of the loss of cattle, moving cattle from individual agricultural enterprises to a good agricultural enterprise was suggested. Aleksandr Lukashenko made the following remarks in response to that: “I don't insist on anything. It is up to you. If you cannot keep cattle alive, then in the name of the revolution the cattle should be transferred to a place where it will stay alive. But if there are other methods and ways, feel free to choose any.” According to the head of state, moving cattle to preserve their numbers is quite an acceptable solution. But heads of agricultural enterprises and district administrations should call the shots in specific situations. “Heads of district administrations should polish these schemes. But the loss of cattle has to stop,” the president stressed.
Putting things in order in the country and in particular, in agriculture
As a rule, top officials of the Prosecutor General's Office and the State Control Committee also present their reports during such conferences. They report shortcomings and facts of mismanagement and at times criminal activities.
“They could spice things up for you here but we understand ourselves that agribusiness suffers from the loss of cattle, underperformance, mismanagement, poor discipline, and personnel shortages. It has already been noted. But I simply warn you: I have instructed the internal affairs minister, the prosecutor general, and chairman of the State Control Committee to put things in order in the country and primarily in agriculture,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.
Summing up results of the conference, the head of state stressed that it is abnormal that authorities on the ground make decisions but these decisions are not fulfilled. “This is why I simply warn you as a friend: law enforcement and oversight agencies will bring crazy pressure to bear during the winter housing season. Don't take offense,” the president said.
At the same time the head of state addressed law enforcement and oversight agencies with a request: before reporting new facts of mismanagement to the president, they have to discuss the uncovered issues with the oblast governors.
Dairy complexes and pig breeding complexes
Aleksandr Lukashenko also reminded about his previous instruction for the animal husbandry industry: it is necessary to transfer cattle into modern dairy complexes within five years.
“The dairy complexes where we make milk as a raw material for making products (we are famous for it) should be in an ideal state. We have good complexes. You should visit them and learn how things should be done. We will support it. But it doesn't mean that we are going to waste money. No, we will approach the matter carefully,” the president pointed out.
The head of state intends to get familiar with cattle fattening procedures in detail. As an example he mentioned the state-run agricultural enterprise Rodina in Belynichi District. The enterprise has worked out an effective system.
The construction of pig breeding complexes will also continue in the country. “Certainly, we will support you but everyone should pitch in: banks, company money, and budget money. We have to resolve the problem fast,” the Belarusian leader noted.
Work with personnel, salaries for specialists, contract-based education
Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to support for qualified workers of agricultural enterprises. The president wants them to have decent salaries and housing.
“As for personnel. Work out any measures you deem necessary by the end of the year. Determine the fund of salaries for executives and specialists. You have to pay specialists well. We hold primarily specialists accountable for results. They represent a small number of people on the scale of a district or an oblast. Personnel underpins everything,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also reminded about the work with contract students. He stressed that employer-sponsored education contracts should be signed with promising kids. The requirement applies not only to agriculture. “There should be no kidding about it,” he remarked.
Discipline and generals on the ground
Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed: “Our key problem lies in basic things: in discipline. Discipline is more than thumping the table with your fist. You can thump the table when you have a system in place. But if you have no sensible system for doing business and managing things, then what good would thumping do? Nobody will understand it. Heads of city, district, and oblast administrations have to work together to work out a clear-cut system and act without waiting for instructions from someone else. If you make errors… Just don't make fatal errors. One can always excuse a person for an error if the person tries to do good. But if someone sits idle and doesn't know what to do or knows what to do but doesn't do it, then why would we need such an executive? This is why act. You are generals on the ground.”
The president remarked that the next few years will not be simple for the power vertical. Particularly for the “troika” in the regions: the president's plenipotentiary for an oblast, the oblast governor, and the president's aide. “You will have to organize election campaigns over there. We have to show everyone that we have a country and we will run this country,” the head of state said.
“Thank you for the meeting. I see that most of you understand me. Act! I urge you to act. Don't stop. If there is a problem, feel free to contact me. You know how,” the head of state concluded.