Visit to Minsk Vegetable Factory

  • 13
In a 5 years’ time Belarus’ domestic demand for greenhouse vegetables should be met in full, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during his visit to Minsk Vegetable Factory on 31 July.

“Let’s agree to have this issue settled within the next five years. We should build a necessary number of them with the use of the latest technologies,” the head of state said.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, resources should be invested in the construction of greenhouses around Minsk. “Minsk should be provided with cheap greenhouse vegetables,” he said. In his words, vegetables and fruits grown near Minsk will be delivered to the retail network of the Belarusian capital at the lowest delivery costs.

Aleksandr Lukashenko asked how many more greenhouses are needed so that Belarus could give up on vegetable imports. He was reported that the country needs to produce 377,000 tonnes of greenhouse products more.

Annually the agricultural organizations and individual farms of the country produce more than 560,000 tonnes of vegetables, including almost 115,000 tonnes in greenhouses. There are 21 major greenhouse farms with a total area of winter greenhouses at nearly 250 hectares. Over the past 10 years 110.5 hectares of energy-saving greenhouses have been commissioned. As a whole, the production of greenhouse vegetables rose 1.7 times in 2014 over 2005. The winter greenhouses grow 15 varieties of crops, particularly cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers, lettuces, arugula, basil, celery, dill, parsley, coriander, sorrel and other green crops.

According to the National Statistics Committee, as of 1 July the country produced 61,300 tonnes of greenhouse vegetables. Some 10,500 tonnes of them was exported.

The President urged to analyze the formation of retail prices for fruits and vegetables.

The head of state pointed out that the prices for fruits and vegetables in retail networks are two times higher than procurement prices. He gave an instruction to study this issue and inform him about the results.

“Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that the government must fulfill his instructions regarding the protection of the domestic market.  Spanish and Dutch vegetables and fruits are sold on the Belarusian market, while we are doing our best to penetrate the markets of Africa and China. “Is it normal? No. Sort the things out,” the President said.

The head of state was informed that as of 31 July grain was harvested on 27% of agricultural land, the average yield reached 34 centners per hectare. About 2 million tonnes of grain has been harvested already. According to Mikhail Rusy, all regions, except for Gomel Oblast, will harvest 1 million tonnes of grain. As for Gomel Oblast, it is expected to harvest about 800,000 tonnes of grain because of complicated weather conditions. At the same time, the yield of corn will be higher in Gomel Oblast. Aleksandr Lukashenko urged to provide assistance to Gomel Oblast if necessary.

According to Mikhail Rusy, the harvest of grain is expected to make up 7.5-7.8 million tonnes; the harvest of corn will reach 1.5 million tonnes. He noted that the crop yield is increasing every day. The vice premier stressed that the country’s reserve of grain makes up about 500,000 tonnes. It will allow meeting the needs of the population for 1.5-2 years. Speaking about wheat, Mikhail Rusy said that it is very good this year. The harvest of wheat is expected to exceed 3 million tonnes.

The President deemed it necessary to create forage reserves for the animal husbandry industry. According to the vice premier, the situation is stable and it is possible to increase forage reserves by 3% as against 2014.

“Crop farming was very productive last year. We agreed to keep this level,” the head of state reminded.

The head of state was also shown a new Gomselmash harvester. Aleksandr Lukashenko asked about the technical characteristics of the harvester, then he climbed into the cabin of the vehicle to see how winter wheat is harvested. The President said that the new harvester is good and strong. At present the new farm vehicles are used in the test mode. The head of state instructed to put these machines into operation next year.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that every spare part of such vehicles should have high quality. “We cannot produce low-quality goods!” the President emphasized. According to the head of state, high-quality products will always be in demand even if they are more expensive.