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14 Aug 2019

Lukashenko: Fishing industry program should be updated

Lukashenko: Fishing industry program should be updated

KOSTYUKOVICHI DISTRICT, 14 August (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave an instruction to update the fishing industry program as he visited the Lokhva trout farm in Kostyukovichi District, BelTA has learned.

“What are we waiting for? What are we afraid of? We have great technologies and we have markets. We need to update this program. I want to hear concrete proposals on what we should build and where. We need to increase fish production at least twice and not only in Mogilev Oblast,” the president said.

The president asked for in-depth information about the trout farm, including technology, profits, output and markets. First of all, the head of state was interested in the company’s growth prospects. “If you see growth opportunities, you should not hesitate to take advantage of them,” the president said.

The head of state was told that everything is in place to increase fish production. Fish products, including trout, are in demand on the domestic market and abroad. In 2019 Belarus is expected to produce 16,600 tonnes of fish, while the country imports 180,000 tonnes of fish every year (this includes fish to be processed and exported further).

In conclusion the head of state reiterated the need to think ahead and make plans for existing fish farms. “I really like this farm. There is nothing difficult about it, you just need to stick to the technology. We need to rely on our experience so that everything will be frugal and reasonable,” the Belarusian leader concluded. 

The fishing industry sub-program is part of the agricultural industry development program set to run in 2016-2020. The document sets forth fish production targets, which is 14,900 tonnes in 2018, 16,500 tonnes in 2019 and 18,200 tonnes in 2020. These targets were surpassed, as 16,100 tonnes of fish was produced in 2018 (8% above the target), while in 2019 the output is expected to amount to 16,600 tonnes or 6% above the target.

Nearly 80% of fish species raised in enclosed pools are carp species. By 2025 the share of carp is to shrink to 55% while the share of herbivorous fish species such as silver carp and grass carp will increase to 28%. This will help reduce the prime cost of fish products by using less concentrated feed. Belarus’ decision to promote industrial fishing resulted in the construction of new fish farms that produce commercially valuable fish species using a recirculating aquaculture system. These species include trout, sturgeon and catfish. Trout accounts for more than 80% of the output.

Production of beluga caviar is a new line of business in Belarus. Two private companies specialize in it.

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