Report of Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats

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Progress in harvesting and personnel issues in the Agriculture and Food Ministry were the main points of Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats’ report to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko on 27 July.

“The number one question today is the situation in the fields, progress in harvesting. The second question is about personnel. You had to suggest a candidate for the position of the agriculture minister this week. I would like to hear your suggestions. In other words, today we will hash out personnel and harvesting issues. I will try to travel [to the regions] in the near future. I want to see the western part of the country. Grodno Oblast is your area of responsibility. We might also have a look at Brest Oblast and review the performance of the Agriculture and Food Ministry at large,” said the head of state.

During one of his recent working trips, the head of state talked about a popular product in China - candies made from pressed milk powder. Belarus has enough of this raw material, and the president proposed to start producing such candies at home. Officials quickly responded to Aleksandr Lukashenko's suggestion. A small trial batch has already been released. 

"We have a lot of skimmed milk powder. In China, we saw the technology to produce of various kinds of confectionery, candies. No sugar, just milk powder. We can add some herbal supplements. This is good, especially for children," the head of state said. “Nikolai brought me these candies from China and I tried them. To be honest I am not a fan of this type of candies. But children, little kids will love them. We can manufacture them and sell internationally and most importantly domestically."

"You gave an instruction, our specialists responded," Leonid Zayats said presenting the finished product to the president.    

"Is this technology still in a testing mode?" Aleksandr Lukashenko asked. 
Leonid Zayats reported that a line at a pharmaceutical plant has been used to make the trial batch: "It contains milk powder. Some have the share of baby formula at 40%. We used whole milk powder, whey. We tried different combinations. They taste very good, and it's a pretty good product for the market."

"We must give them a try and market them among adults, especially children. It is very important that these are organic candies," the president said. 

"Indeed. We added currants, ascorbic acid. The taste is nice," the deputy prime minister noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko is sure that export prospects of such organic candies are very good: "The Chinese have done a great job. They’ve come up with this recipe and saturated their market of one and a half billion people. We can easily supply it to China."

"I think we may even try Africa," Leonid Zayats noted.

"Well, anywhere: Africa, China. We cooperate with them," the president stressed. 

As for the production technology, there is no difficulties, the deputy prime minister assured. The only thing is that the line needs a trial run.

"Maybe we need to engage two lines," the head of state suggested.

"We also need to think over nice packaging, containers and things will get off the ground," Leonid Zayats continued his thought. 

"So we may consider the issue settled," Aleksandr Lukashenko summed up the discussion.

"Yes," the deputy prime minister replied confidently.

"We need to popularize these candies among children and adults," the Belarusian leader concluded.