Visit to OAO Gastellovskoye in Minsk Oblast

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Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered to improve the quality of Belarus-made combine harvesters so that they will successfully rival the world’s best machines by the next harvesting season. The head of state made this statement during a working trip to Minsk Oblast on 1 August where he visited OAO Gastellovskoye.

“By the next harvesting season, the combine harvesters should be as good as German and American ones,” the President said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the quality of machines. “Tell every foreman and worker that they will be wholly responsible for the quality. Competition is getting tougher every year,” the Belarusian leader said.

Another important task is to increase the localization of machinery production. “Importing component parts from abroad, assembling combine harvesters and bragging afterwards – that is not how it should be done. We should produce them on our own and this is your task,” the head of state said.

The head of state was informed about the financial and economic performance of Gomselmash. The company’ overseas sales are increasing, accounts receivable are reducing, debts on loans have not risen. Gomselmash is operating in the black, however, there is an above-level backlog of inventory and the output has slightly shrunk, however the situation is getting better step by step. Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that he is going to carefully study the situation at Gomselmash this autumn.

During the working trip, the President was informed about technical specifications of Belarus-made grain harvesters and foreign harvesters, as well as new products developed by Gomselmash. According to the Gomselmash Director General, three new models of grain harvesters were designed, manufactured and tested last year – one is a small-scale harvester (5kg/sec), and the other two are large-scale harvesters (14kg/sec and 16kg/sec respectively). The new machines have a higher level of localization.

During his previous trip to Minsk District the head of state had ordered to provide the domestic agricultural industry with modern Belarus-made machinery for harvesting fields with a high crop yield. Such a combine harvester was shown to the President on 1 August. There is only one combine harvester of this kind in Belarus yet. During the presentation, the combine harvested the land under winter wheat where the crop yield is nearly 100 centners per hectare. Belarus’ Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats noted that this modern machine is as good as foreign ones, but 2.6 times cheaper than, for example, German combines. At the same time he admitted that some technical issues were revealed during operational tests of the machine.

Aleksandr Lukashenko praised the new combine harvester and ordered to provide at least ten most powerful and efficient combine harvesters by the next harvesting period. The President pledged financial support for the project. “It is an excellent combine harvester. We need to polish it by the next harvest time. We should produce at least ten such combine harvesters by the next harvesting period. We will try to purchase them or help agricultural companies buy them,” the President noted.

Top on the agenda was the need to provide the domestic agricultural sector with new combine harvesters. The President ordered to finalize the lineup of the new machinery. These machines will be manufactured in Belarus for domestic use and for export.

The head of state warned agriculture chiefs that the government will keep reducing financial support for the agricultural sector. Therefore, the new machines should be taken good care of. “Everyone should understand that it does not mean that all combine harvesters will be renewed overnight,” the Belarusian leader said.

At the dairy farm of OAO Gastellovskoye the head of state said that the agricultural industry workers should be encouraged to work on the highest level. “We need to bring the best, the most progressive things to Belarus and teach our farmers and ourselves to work on the highest level,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President was informed about the use of new technologies to produce high-quality milk. This pertained, first of all, to robotic equipment. Aleksandr Lukashenko wanted to know about the efficiency and the payback period of such technologies. The President was told that it does not make sense to use such expensive machinery everywhere, because it can pay back only in highly-efficient companies with highly-productive livestock.

“It is not about the price, but the payback. If it brings more money, we should consider it. However, this should be done carefully. Such equipment can be used by companies that are ready for it and have efficient livestock population,” the head of state said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko ordered the Minsk ring road development plan ready by 1 October.

According to the head of state, the lands near the Minsk ring road should be used in the most rational way. “We have many businessmen that ask for a land plot to set up a company, build a car parking or something else. By 1 October the development plan should be worked out and submitted for consideration,” the President said.

“The main focus should be on construction projects along the ring road. There are some many idle lands which can be used for construction and you ask allocating agricultural lands for this purpose,” the Belarusian leader stressed.

The President also stressed that every, even small, piece of agricultural land should be used with a zealous attitude, including the territories adjoining farms and household plots.

The President said that it is necessary to study the situation with the land plots which were provided for construction. If these land plots are not used for this purpose they should be withdrawn within the period envisaged by the legislation, the head of state stressed. “It is needed to withdraw all the lands that were supposed to be used as construction sites but have not been used yet,” the head of state said.