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8 Nov 2016

Belarus interested in Polish fruit, vegetable processing technologies

MINSK, 8 November (BelTA) – Belarus is interested in assimilating Poland’s innovative technologies for processing fruits and vegetables. Belarusian Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Vladimir Grakun made the statement during negotiations with a Polish delegation in Minsk on 8 November, BelTA has learned. The meeting was held to discuss the development of bilateral cooperation.

The official said that Belarusian companies take an interest in Poland’s new technologies for processing fruits and vegetables. “For instance, black currants are grown in Belarus. They are sold fresh. The remaining berries could be frozen, made into jams or other kinds of merchandise,” said the Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister. Blueberry farming is a new kind of business in Belarus. The area under blueberries is close to 700ha. “We are also interested in new approaches to processing blueberries. We sell them fresh for now,” the official told the Polish delegation.

Joint efforts to nurture new kinds of fruit varieties are another cooperation avenue Belarus is interested in. “Belarus has not imported planting material to grow fruit cultures for six years already. We make it domestically. However, we are interested in planting material to start new gardens and create the genetic potential. Belarusian and Polish scientists could start working together to create new Belarusian-Polish crop varieties,” said the official. Apples, pears, sweet cherries, sour cherries and other varieties are under consideration.

The Belarusian Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister said he was confident that the meeting would give an impulse to the development of Belarus-Poland cooperation in growing and processing fruits and vegetables.

A representative delegation of Poland led by Ryszard Zarudzki, Undersecretary of State of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, arrived in Minsk. The delegation includes representatives of government agencies, the private sector, and research institutions.

According to Ryszard Zarudzki, the opportunity to share the best practices with Belarusian colleagues and to bolster economic contacts during the visit is important. “The best example of bilateral cooperation was the visit of Mateusz Morawiecki, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Finance of Poland, to Belarus in October 2016. It testifies to the development of our contacts,” said the Polish guest. Among near-term priorities he mentioned efforts to increase Belarus-Poland trade, the development of cooperation in science, and the implementation of concrete business projects.

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