Report on completing 2019 harvesting campaign and on fulfilling instructions to increase and diversify export

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It is necessary to finish the harvesting campaign and most of the autumn field work by 7 November. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions on 29 October as he heard out a report on completing this year’s harvesting campaign and on fulfilling the instructions to increase and diversify the export of merchandise and services.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said: “I’ve determined the deadline: we can do only winter tillage after celebrating 7 November.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that a certain amount of urgent work needs to be done in the countryside. “Completing the harvesting campaign is the first thing. Our society believes that the harvesting campaign ends when we harvest headed cereal crops in August. But it is the simplest agricultural operation there is. A huge amount of forage corn and grain maize has to be harvested after that. There is also beet root, potatoes, vegetables, and fruits. We are talking about harvesting millions of tonnes of crops, moving them to storage facilities, and selling. And after that we have to sow winter crops (we’ve already sown them) and take care of winter tillage,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko described winter tillage work as the bottleneck: “I see there is a small area left to harvest. Nevertheless, it is my impression – despite the fact that the area is small – that harvesting efforts are more relaxed now. As for winter tillage, I see lack of care.”

Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned that he personally saw no work being done in some fields in Minsk Oblast on Friday afternoon, on Saturday and Sunday. “Two days and a half. A lot of winter tillage work could have been done in that period!” he noted. “Everything was tilled on Monday. It means they rested for two days and a half. I understand that people may be tired, the workload is huge, but winter is coming. We will rest then. Peasants have always done it like that.”

“I will check what you’ve done. May god have mercy on you if someone failed to complete the work [by 7 November]. Everything needs to be harvested. There should be no retted straw in the fields. Everything should be in storage by then. I am told it’s been done. Grain maize needs to be harvested or we will lose it. If the weather is bad, then keep stockpiling grain maize or put it in sleeves. I’ve told you to do it many times,” the head of state stressed.

The President pointed out it is necessary to harvest all the potatoes. “They say potatoes have been harvested. Take another look. The price is decent now. Ukraine is queuing up for potatoes. Fill the storage facilities. Not only for the sake of feeding the nation this winter but for the sake of selling potatoes at a good price in spring. The same applies to vegetables,” the Belarusian leader demanded.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also remarked that this year’s buckwheat harvest is smaller than last year’s. “There is no buckwheat in Russia at all. Keep in mind that all the buckwheat may be exported to Russia while we will have only small amounts left at a high price. I don’t want such prices. We have a deal,” the head of state warned.

Aleksandr Lukashenko added that export is another topic for discussing at a government conference. The prime minister is responsible for it while deputy prime ministers have their own areas of responsibility.