Session to discuss measures to restore pork production in Belarus

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More effort should be put into restoring pork production in Belarus. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave the relevant instructions at the government session held on 22 September to review the measures designed to restore pork production.

The head of state stressed that the issue should be addressed taking into account the growing demand for pork abroad.

The President is convinced that all the conditions for reaching the goal are available. The current situation should be used in an optimal manner in order to increase pork production. Large pig farms have been built and are operational in all the regions of Belarus. Their products are sold domestically and are exported.

“The restoration of pork production is a matter of national economic and food security,” stated the President. He stressed that the central government and municipal government agencies will have to accomplish the goal by 1 April 2015.

The head of state warned against repeating mistakes like those committed in the development of the flax industry when “they said they will do it and managed to do only 10-30% or nothing at all sometimes”. “When we wanted to review the results, we had nothing to review at all,” the President said.

The stressed that scientists had suggested ways to restore pork production in conditions of the unfavorable veterinary situation.

Fist of all, it is necessary to fully staff the facilities built in 2013-2014. According to the President, failures to do it are akin to crimes. There is also the problem of territorial dissociation when some agricultural enterprise may lack premises to raise piglets while some other agricultural enterprise may have premises to spare.

Second, it is essential to raise the effectiveness of existing facilities by strictly observing the technology in order to achieve good weight gains.

Third, it is needed to expedite the completion of the new facilities, which are being built. “Do not expect that someone else will come and will do it for you. Grab your savings and finish these facilities,” the head of state said.

Apart from that, wireframe and tent solutions can produce the facilities necessary for fattening the livestock. It has to be done now before winter comes. “Therefore, if you have made the decision, start restoring right away for a cheap price. Nobody is going to give you a lot of money anymore or similar pig-breeding farms,” said the President.

He remarked that scientists had worked out ways to accelerate the reproduction of pedigree pigs.

“As far as the epizootic situation in the pig-farming industry is concerned, it has been slightly more than a year since the day we discussed and worked out measures to fight viral diseases in pigs,” reminded the head of state. “Back then we decided what has to be done and how. In particular, sources of this disease in the wild have to be eliminated. While dealing with the sources it is necessary to keep in mind interests of the people concerned.” A careful attitude to nature and animals must be practiced. The President warned against thoughtless actions: “Sometimes those, who fail to shoot a hog, start a forest fire or cut down forests instead”.

Since the problem is relevant not only for Belarus but many other countries, too, a complex solution is needed.

The important measures include the unwavering observance of the technology and sanitary requirements in animal husbandry enterprises and in personal farms. The President pointed out the need to practice a measured attitude to slaughtering pigs in personal farms. In particular, better awareness efforts are needed instead of slaughtering the entire stock. “A more accurate approach is needed. District administrations should deal with these matters instead of the agriculture and food minister and the vice premier,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“As far as animal husbandry enterprises are concerned, they must be in an ideal order. They have to be fenced off. Sanitary requirements have to be precisely observed. It is not done for now,” stated the President.

Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that feed for pigs cannot be imported due to the possibility of it being infected with pathogenic agents. Moreover, Belarus-made granulated feed varieties that have passed thermal treatment are available. It is necessary to fight viral pig diseases by observing sanitary requirements and technological requirements. “The recipe is simple. You just have to follow it,” said the President. “Today I would like all those present, primarily the government’s working group, to tell me what results we have achieved, what the situation in the regions is. Law enforcement agencies have been instructed to audit and regularly report about the fulfillment of the decisions that have been made”.

Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Mikhail Rusy informed the President about the epizootic situation in the swine breeding industry and also told the head of state about measures that the country takes to prevent viral diseases. Mikhail Rusy also spoke about the fulfillment of the President’s instructions to restore the production of pork. In his words, the production of pork will make up 480,000 tonnes at the end of the year. It will reach 124,000 tonnes by 1 April 2015.

Grodno oblast Governor Vladimir Kravtsov informed the head of state about measures that the region takes to prevent the outbreaks of the African swine fever and to restore pork production. He said that Grodno Oblast accounts for one fourth of the total pork output in Belarus. In 2015 the region is planning to increase the production of pork to the level which existed there before the African swine fever to 112,000 tonnes.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that governors should not count on budget subsidies to restore the production of pork. “Do not count on the national budget! We will help you if we can, but you should, first of all, rely on yourselves,” he said.

The President said that today pork is in demand both in the country and abroad. Therefore, the industry can earn much money.

“Our efforts will pay back in three years. A three-year pay-off period – there is nothing like that even in the oil industry! Natural gas projects pay off in 8-10 years! Most importantly, we should produce the products the market needs,” the head of state noted.

Director General of the NationalResearchCenter for Animal Breeding of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus Nikolai Popkov put forward suggestions on how to restore pig population fast. He believes that the focus should be made on pig reproduction and feeding, and on high-quality compound feed.

The governors admitted that small pig breeding farms were shut down because of ASF; however, this did not affect economic indicators.

The President underlined that he is not worried about the closure of these complexes.

“This disaster prompted us to concentrate pig population at bigger complexes. This disaster made us shut down these small farms and build one or two complexes in each oblast next year. This way we will restore pig population and even make it bigger than before,” he said.

Interior Minister Igor Shunevich read a report about the control over the efforts to combat ASF and other animal diseases with a view to maintaining Belarus’ national security.

At the end of the session Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that next year Belarus should breed and feed 700,000 – 1 million young pigs and restore pig population and pig production.

“The market will be reviving gradually. No one will wait for us there. However, if we are the first to offer our pork on the market, we will make big money,” the head of state remarked.

“In fact, we will have to deal with this situation for a long time. In these conditions we should work calmly. This pest we talk so much about is absolutely harmless for human beings; infected meat is also safe after thermal treatment. However, we do not want infected pork, it should be clean,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that local authorities should rely on the experience of the company run by the NationalResearchCenter for Animal Breeding of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.