Nationwide teleconference to discuss harvesting campaign in Belarus
need to invest all our efforts in the ongoing harvest campaign, Belarus
President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he hosted a nationwide
teleconference on harvest 2019 on 23 July.
outlook is good. The forecasts show that the gross yield on every crop
will be higher than the last year's. That is why we need to put all-out
efforts to harvest all our crops properly. We need to use all our
reserves. We need to harvest at least 9.5 million tonnes of coleseed,
grain maize, buckwheat and millet. Less is unacceptable,” Aleksandr
part in the teleconference are representatives of the Belarus President
Administration, the Council of Ministers, the Agriculture and Food
Ministry, the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the Internal Affairs
Ministry, the State Control Committee, governors, presidential aides,
and deputy chairpersons of the oblast executive committees and Minsk
Belarus President said that it
is important to make sure that the quality of harvesting and machinery
maintenance is good.
Addressing the regional authorities, Aleksandr Lukashenko urged “to pay serious attention to the quality of harvesting”.
“I want you to give serious consideration to the losses. Take this matter under control,” the President told the governors.
to the most modest estimates, harvesting losses make up half a million
tonnes. The President drew attention to central and northern regions
where the harvesting of winter rapeseed is still in progress. “Losses
are big there,” the President expressed concern. The head of state
reminded about the importance of technology compliance.
“Crops should be harvested with minimal losses or even without them if possible,” the head of state underlined.
Aleksandr Lukashenko also urged to restore a 1.5-2 year reserve of grass fodder.
now around 20% of area under grain and leguminous crops has been
cleared. “We should press on with harvesting, so that 60% of land will
be cropped by the end of the week,” the head of state said.
focal point of the meeting was machinery supply. “As far as the
purchase of combine harvesters are concerned, we will come to grips with
this matter,” the President said. The head of state recalled the number
one task – adequate maintenance of machinery. The matter should be
supervised by the police, the State Control Committee and the
Belarus President spoke highly of the efforts of Mogilev
Oblast Governor Leonid Zayats in the agricultural sector as the head of
state heard out the governor’s report at a nationwide conference on
are keeping to our agreements. What you have said in your report was
exactly what we had agreed on. This gives hope that you will eventually
make a breakthrough in Mogilev Oblast. The most important thing is that
you understand what should be done. It is good that you have found the
right people [the governor spoke about his personnel policy]. The
personnel issue has always been a major concern in Mogilev Oblast. You
just need to find people who are able and willing to work and you need
to pay them well,” the President said.
will arise every now and then. However, people living in the
countryside have not lost the habit of working hard,” the head of state
Lukashenko emphasized that the ongoing climate change should not be
disregarded anywhere in Belarus. “We cannot work as we did 20-30 years
ago. However, we stick to traditional practices instead,” the Belarusian
President urged to have a closer look at experimental fields to grow
cereal crops in Mogilev Oblast and to utilize the best practices more
Lukashenko asked Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev how hybrid
rye crops are faring. The governor reported that the region has planted
hybrid rye for the fifth year. Now the area under this crop is 10,000
hectares. The yield is very high: even with inadequate compliance with
the technologies it is still 70-80 centers per hectare.
The President said that he inspected the hybrid rye fields and was pleased
with what he saw. “I was struck by this crop. The heatwave was terrible.
The fields planted to hybrid rye were sandy. I was amazed how well
hybrid rye fared in our climate. It was amazing,” the President said.
head of state instructed the authorities of all the regions to pay
attention to the crop, learn from the experience of Vitebsk Oblast and,
if necessary, expand the areas planted to hybrid rye. “The demand for
grain is high and we can always sell the surplus. If we do not need so
much rye, we can always sell it. Take a look at this experience and
report back to me,” said the President.
rye is cultivated on the experimental field of Aleksandriyskoye farm.
The head of state regularly visits the company to see the progress in
a nationwide conference on harvesting Belarus President Aleksandr
Lukashenko unveiled plans to visit Gomel Oblast in the near future to
discuss, among other things, agricultural development of this region.
Lukashenko recalled that it was not the first time he urged the
regional authorities to revise the structure of cropping area in view of
the climate change. “Start planning what you will plant and where.
Everything should be done in time,” the President said.
will be there in the near future. Get ready, we will discuss these
matters,” the head of state said addressing the Gomel Oblast governor.
The Belarusian leader said that during the trip to Gomel Oblast he wants
to hear about plans for the future rather than about progress with
the nationwide conference, Aleksandr Lukashenko asked about the
rapeseed yield in Gomel Oblast. The head of state was told that the
yield was 10.7 centners per hectare. “These are losses. If rapeseed does
not grow well, stop planting it,” the President said.
days there are no loss-making crops in Gomel Oblast, but there is
blatant disregard for production discipline and the wrong choice of
soil,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.
yield of grain crops in Gomel Oblast is under 25 centners per hectare.
“This is not okay, therefore today we should decide what to do tomorrow.
Corn is the only way to replenish the stocks of grain reserves,” the President believes. He added that the supply of protein for cattle and
poultry depends on the quality of corn harvesting.
The President said that it
is necessary to increase the public grain stock up to 500,000 tonnes by
the end of the harvesting season.
year we exhausted all the grain reserves that we had. Nearly nothing is
left. Public procurement will be a very sensitive issue this year.
Everything we agreed on with peasants should be fulfilled. We should buy
grain from them and use some of this grain to replenish the grain
stock. This year and next year we should restock the reserves we once
had. We need to harvest a million tonnes in order to replenish the grain
stock and meet the domestic demand. We will have no shortage of grain
crops, as this year the harvest is good. However, it is also desirable
to additionally have grain stock [public grain stock] of not just
200,000-300,000, but 500,000 tonnes,” the head of state added.
amount of grain stock can make up for bad harvest if any, and the extra
can be sold abroad. “This is money, foreign currency. If we have grain
reserves, they can be converted into foreign currency. Apart from that,
who can guarantee that in a year or two we will not face another
drought like last year’s that resulted in a poor harvest? There is no
guarantee. Therefore, the grain stock should be replenished,” Aleksandr
The President also demanded that public procurement of grain should be
fulfilled without failure. “Public procurement is a must. There will be
no persuading. All [regional executive committees] have signed
agreements and received advance payments. Therefore, no complaints will
be accepted. A million tonnes is nearly nothing in terms of the entire
country. I am convinced that some peasants will be ready to sell even
more this year. Most importantly, we should be able to buy this grain
from them,” the head of state said.