Working trip to Orsha District, Vitebsk Oblast

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko visited the Pavlinka robotic dairy complex of the Yubileiny agricultural company in Orsha District on 11 July. 

First of all, Aleksandr Lukashenko asked the director of the Yubileiny agricultural company Aleksandr Firsin about progress to fulfill the earlier instructions. These instructions pertained primarily to the equipment of the machine yard that was inspected by the president during one of his working trips last year.

The company chief reported that all the agreements had been fulfilled and the necessary repairs had been made. Now the machine yard has everything in place for high-quality maintenance and repair of equipment.

Addressing the regional and district authorities, the head of state voiced a number of remarks regarding the situation in the fields.

The capacity of the Pavlinka dairy complex is 2,400 head. Now it keeps 2,240 head. The complex uses milking robots. The facility was commissioned in June 2021. The total cost of the four complexes was Br71.5 million.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that this is not the cheapest complex. According to him, if a company can afford it, no one forbids building such farms, but a few years ago he gave an instruction to come up with the most optimal project in terms of price and quality that can be applied throughout the country.

The head of state cited the Rodina farm in Belynichi District as a case in point and recalled its leader Lapotentov. “There was no show off, and the company operates at a profit,” he remarked.

“I want us to build optimal complexes,” the president said as he was speaking about approaches to building livestock complexes in the country.

“Our task is to phase out these prehistoric farms over the next five years. We need to build advanced facilities, but they should be cheap (not grand complexes like this). We need to revisit the price issue. We need to calculate how much such a complex will cost,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“We get 25% of milk from these farms. All these cows should be transferred to such complexes. We need to determine an optimal price for an optimal complex. I am not saying that it should be cheap or expensive. The miser pays twice. Yet, we have no extra money. Within five years, the entire dairy herd should be transferred to technologically advanced complexes,” the president said.

Agriculture and Food Minister Igor Brylo reported on the situation in agriculture, with a focus on the livestock sector. According to him, milk output is growing and the growth pace will increase. Meat output is also on the rise in all regions.

First of all, the president wanted to know how problems are being dealt with.

“I receive complaints that you have banned farms from selling dry cows that have not been milked for two or three years. Why are you doing this?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Zayats assured that such cases are few. Such decisions are made at the local level, Igor Brylo added.

“Okay, we will sort it out. God forbid we detect at least one such case. This is unacceptable,” the head of state stressed.

He also asked about the loss of livestock.

“Over the six months we reduced the non-productive loss of cattle by 21,000 or 76%. The cattle mortality accounted for 48% of the deadstock (down by 3.4% year-on-year). The slaughter (which is another form of non-productive cattle loss) in the farms went down by 13,000,” the minister said.

“And what is the acceptable mortality rate in your opinion?” Aleksandr Lukashenko asked.

According to Igor Brylo, technological losses should be 1.7%. The actual losses are 1.4%, down by 0.1% year-on-year.

“Well, in this case you deserve a medal,” the president noted.

“Let’s say it is too early to give medals to Gomel Oblast. The same about Mogilev Oblast, as there is still work to do there. But the downward trend will continue,” the minister said.

During his visit to the robotic dairy complex, Aleksandr Lukashenko also studied the technology of keeping and milking cattle.