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30 Oct 2015

Agricultural production per capita in Belarus higher than in EEU countries

MINSK, 30 October (BelTA) - The agricultural production per capita in Belarus is higher across many positions than in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Belarus’ Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy said at a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, BelTA has learned.

“The agricultural production per capita in Belarus is on par with the production in developed countries, and is higher across many positions than in the EEU member states,” said Mikhail Rusy.

According to him, the balance of resources corresponds to the optimal level of self-sufficiency in food, i.e. the level is sufficient to ensure the needs of the domestic food market (in calorie assessment-3,500 kcal per person per day).

The Vice Premier added that Belarus is fully self-sufficient in food: domestic demand for food is completely satisfied. "The domestic market has the capacity to consume more high-quality food. We are working on it and see this reserve," he said.

Mikhail Rusy noted that in terms of physical accessibility Belarus has met the medical standards for consumption almost across all life-supporting foods. "At the same time, the diet is not balanced in terms of quality parameters due to the abundance of high-calorie foods (sugar, vegetable oil) and under-consumption of milk, bread, cheese and fish," said Mikhail Rusy.

"The result of the effective agrarian policy has been the steady growth in the production of agricultural raw materials. Certainly, without a large-scale renovation of the infrastructure of the agricultural organizations, technical retooling and modernization of the processing industry, achieving such results would not have been possible,” said Mikhail Rusy.

The successes of the production industry, in his view, would be less significant without the integrated development of the social rural infrastructure through the establishment of a network of agro-towns, which has enabled a systemic solution of the problems of rural territories: on the one hand, the growth of production, wages, efficient employment guarantees, and on the other hand, comfortable accommodation, accessibility of educational, residential and other services.

“Thanks to the growing opportunities of the agriculture industry the country has been able to ensure stable export of food, which became one of the most important articles of foreign currency earnings along with products of the petrochemical complex and fertilizers. The share of agricultural products in total exports has increased,” said Mikhail Rusy.

Despite the unfavorable price trends for certain types of milk and dairy products, meat and meat products, there has been an increase in the export of commodities such as butter, cheese and cottage cheese, skim milk powder, poultry, sausages.

"In recent years Belarus has had a surplus of foreign trade in agricultural food products," said Mikhail Rusy. He added that in 2014 the share of dairy products in total exports of agricultural raw materials and food accounted for 41%, meat and meat products for 20%, fish and fish products - 6%, sugar and confectionery products - 5%.

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