The domestic linen industry can become two times more efficient within several years, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said while inspecting Orsha Linen Mill on 30 November.
The head of state was informed that only few countries in the world grow flax. These are mostly European nations. The rating is topped by France. Belarus is ranked second or third. “It is good that there are fewer players on the market. Therefore, we should grow our own flax so that we will not have to purchase [part of raw materials from other countries]. This industry should become at least two times more efficient within three years. We can do it if our government performs as it should,” Alexander Lukashenko said.
The President criticized agricultural industry chiefs and governors for inadequate amount of domestic flax fiber, which quality is often poor. About a third of capacities of Orsha Linen Mill is not used, while part of flax fiber for processing has to be purchased from other countries, like France. Naturally, this affects the price of the end products and the company’s performance in general.
According to Vice Premier Mikhail Rusy and governors, unfavorable weather conditions intervened with the industry’s plans this year. However, the President emphasized that it is unacceptable to put the blame solely on this factor and pointed to the industry’s underachievement in the previous years. “We need not only public procurement, we need efficient production,” he said.
The head of state was assured that overall flax is a lucrative crop that can generate good profit, and a lot has been done in this regard. The President was informed about the upgrade of the linen mill and investment injected into it. The investment helped boost export, expand the company’s sales geography, increase revenues and salaries. The company pays its debts on time.
Alexander Lukashenko noted that agricultural producers should directly benefit from better performance and get a profit. In this regard, the linen mill has been incrementally increasing procurement prices for raw materials and is ready to offer even more incentives to flax producers.
The head of state studied the company’s production facilities, inspected shop floors, talked to employees and examined product samples.