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31 Oct 2015

Belarus, United States plan to create joint ventures to grow beef cattle

MINSK, 31 October (BelTA) - Belarus and the United States are planning to set up joint ventures to grow beef cattle, Belarus’ Minister of Agriculture and Food Leonid Zayats said before a meeting with U.S. Agriculture Attache in Moscow Rachel Vandenberg and a delegation of American scientists and businessmen in Minsk on 31 October, BelTA has learned.

"Together with the United States we are planning to set up joint ventures to grow beef cattle with a view to bringing these products to the Russian market, the markets of the Middle East and Asian countries. These are the markets where we are not yet widely represented," said Leonid Zayats.

The Minister also spoke about the possibility of establishing a foreign enterprise in Belarus based on net investment. "We are also planning to purchase up to 10,000 head of Black Angus cattle from the United States by March 2016. The Black Angus is a breed of cattle commonly used in beef production. We have huge areas of natural land which are difficult to access for agricultural machines. These areas are in Mogilev and Vitebsk Oblasts, and we are mulling over the development of production of beef cattle along with the dairy one there," he said.

Thus, Belarus hopes to use the land more efficiently and create a product that will be in demand in Belarus and abroad. "We will be aiming for a higher density of livestock per one hectare, because we have huge forage lands but the cattle numbers are not sufficient. We want to bring here the breed which will help us build up our export potential. This is our reserve, and we should use is,” Leonid Zayats said.

“Representatives of the U.S. companies have already visited our big dairy farms and complexes and praised the development level of the Belarusian agriculture. One thing we still lack is technical discipline and knowledge. Here we see it as essential to continue our cooperation with specialists from the U.S. leading companies,” the minister said.

The delegation from the United States is on a visit to Belarus from 27 October till 4 November. The delegation has comprised representatives of the American Embryo Transfer Association, the National Livestock Producers Association, the American Jersey Cattle Association, the University of Idaho, the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc. The program of the visit includes meetings with representatives of the NASB Scientific and Production Center of Animal Breeding.

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