Meeting to discuss harvest campaign in 2021
Rising global food prices should become an additional opportunity for the Belarusian economy, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at a government meeting held on 23 July to discuss the harvest campaign in 2021.
“The main thing that we should pay attention to today is rising food prices in the world. The demand is unbelievable,” the head of state said.
According to various estimates, about 1 billion people in the world are suffering from hunger, and therefore the demand for food will continue rising. So will food prices, the President said. “Of course, this is bad on a planetary scale. However, this should become an additional opportunity for us to rectify the economic situation in the country and finally get at least a little return on our annual concerns. I mean our farmers, the agricultural sector in which we have heavily invested. As you can see, our efforts were not in vain. It would be good if we got the maximum return. This is the number one goal for today,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
In light of these trends, the President has called today’s meeting, although harvesting is a traditional topic this time of the year. “First of all, this is a traditional topic at this time of the year. But still, the main reason for our meeting today is that this year is a special one. This is not because of the weather. Weather conditions are special every year, this is why Belarus is a zone of risky agriculture. The weather always bring us surprises, it is ever changeable,” the President said.
“Within a short period of time, agricultural works should be arranged properly so that everything could be done in time, including fodder procurement and grain harvesting. Thus, pace and quality are the main requirements for the upcoming harvesting period. At the same time, it is necessary to prevent grain losses at all costs,” the head of state said.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the government has done everything and even more to ensure successful harvesting. The government also provided funds for equipment and fuel. “The only thing that remains to be done is to organize the whole process,” the President noted.
The head of state demanded that harvesting should be completed in the optimal agro-technical period. In this regard, he demanded that officials in charge of the agricultural industry should submit reports on a number of issues.
Firstly, the President wanted to know what else should be done to prepare harvesting equipment for work, whether spare parts are in good supply and how operational maintenance and repair are organized, because at this moment, according to available information, about 9% of grain harvesters are out of service. In addition, watchdogs reveal incidents of theft of spare parts, fuel and lubricants, as well as false reporting on equipment readiness.
Secondly, Aleksandr Lukashenko instructed to update him on how grain drying is proceeding. According to the Agriculture and Food Ministry, 10% of grain complexes are not ready for grain acceptance.
In this regard, the following question arises: how will the production capacities of bakery factories be used? Acceptance of grain of any moisture content must be ongoing around the clock, and the state procurement targets must be fulfilled, the Belarusian leader emphasized.
According to the head of state, the harvest campaign is on his radar, he is keeping an eye on the economic and weather conditions. “I am still thinking that previously (yesterday we harvested the first million tonnes of grain, today the harvest will reach 1.2-1.3 million tonnes) it took us more than two weeks to harvest the first, second and third million tonnes of grain. And now the harvest campaign is not even in full swing yet, but we have already harvested 1 million tonnes. It means that our agricultural industry has a huge technical potential,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
However, he mentioned certain issues. “The main goal of the today’s meeting is to unveil these issues and to make decisions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.