Working trip to Minsk Oblast

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Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has given instructions to create milk cow breeding farms in every oblast to develop industrial dairy cattle breeding. Aleksandr Lukashenko set the task as he visited the agricultural breeding enterprise ZhodinoAgroPlemElita on 12 September.

The head of state was informed that as much as 41% of the milking herd in Belarus is concentrated at industrial enterprises. Animals fit for such an environment are needed to make this kind of animal husbandry possible. Work is in progress to create the relevant Belarusian breed. Science is supposed to produce a pedigree herd for Belarusian farms by 2020. The relevant dairy breeding farms have to be created in every oblast to make that happen.

“It is a breakthrough for the country. It is more precious than gold and the gold and foreign exchange reserves,” said the President.

Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to draft a legal act by 1 October to specify the conditions that foster the creation of such farms. “We will have seven farms like that. Then we will get good breeding material,” noted the head of state.

The President was made familiar with the operation of the dairy breeding enterprise ZhodinoAgroPlemElita. The agricultural enterprise was handed over to the Animal Husbandry Research and DevelopmentCenter of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for the sake of creating innovative animal husbandry facilities. In particular, the enterprise has a pedigree reproduction farm for 500 sows, a dairy farm for 850 cows with a high genetic potential, a dairy breeding farm for 350 cows, a pig farm for testing and experiments, wireframe and tent premises for keeping pigs. In 2013 the dairy farm for 850 cows was one of the country’s 10 best dairy farms. The share of premium quality milk in the output was 92% while profitability was over 30%. The pedigree reproduction farm in combination with another reproduction farm for 1,000 sows is supposed to become the basis for setting up a modern selection and breeding system for the Belarusian pig farming industry. It will be used to secure the accelerated completion of the effort to create a Belarusian marketable pig crossbreed.

“Don’t convert this endeavor into a common highly profitable enterprise. It is just one of the considerations. You should provide us with uncontestable technologies,” said Aleksandr Lukashenko.

The President visited the biotechnology center and its pilot manufacturing facility and an experimental goat farm where he was made familiar with the breeding of transgenic goats and the use of their milk to produce human lactoferrin for medical purposes. A herd of animals that produce human lactoferrin has been created thanks to the implementation of two programs of the UnionState of Belarus and Russia in Belarus. For the first time Belarus has acquired a new substance that can advance the effort to create highly effective and safe solutions to prevent human diseases. In particular, a technology to make medications and food that contain human lactoferrin has been created, test batches of merchandise have been made.

Aleksandr Lukashenko gave instructions to install the necessary equipment by 1 January 2015 in order to process all the milk the farm produces.

Apart from that, pork production in conditions of an unfavorable veterinary situation was discussed.

Nikolai Popkov, director general of the national research and development center for animal husbandry of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, put forward several proposals designed to promptly restore pork production. In particular, Nikolai Popkov said he believes it is necessary to put efforts into securing the availability of pork when African swine fever is a threat instead of getting down to dealing with problems only after the disease is diagnosed. He believes that it is possible to build inexpensive farms to raise pigs.

Aleksandr Lukashenko backed the proposal. He pointed out it is important to increase pork production in present conditions. “There is no pork in the former USSR at present. The market is huge, the price has skyrocketed. It means we can make good money, we can occupy the Russian market,” said the President.

“We can mobilize and make the products that sell well,” believes the head of state. He underlined that it was a matter of effectiveness. “I believe it has to be done. We need to produce meat and sell it in a timely manner,” said the President. “The decision has been made, go ahead and carry it out,” he said.