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15 May 2020

Lukashenko calls for efforts to ensure profitable food exports

Lukashenko calls for efforts to ensure profitable food exports
An archive photo

VITEBSK OBLAST, 15 May (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko heard out a report of Belarus’ Agriculture and Food Minister Ivan Krupko on the situation in the agriculture at a government meeting in Vitebsk District on 15 May. Issues highlighted at the meeting included springtime sowing, harvest forecasts, exports of agricultural products and the domestic market, BelTA has learned.

As for exports, Aleksandr Lukashenko wants the industry to look for the best price conditions on the international market. “The main thing is to sell goods at a good price, no cheap," he said.

The minister reported that in January-April farms of all categories ramped up the production. In January-March of this year, exports rose by almost 10% year-on-year. “The growth pace in the first quarter was the same as in January-February. Exports slowed down a bit in April. But the growth trend remained in place," Ivan Krupko said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko, in particular, drew attention to potatoes. “I want to emphasize this thing. It was brought to the attention of the minister. This year, I think, potatoes prices will be high. So I asked to collect everything that we had left and plant potatoes. We need to plant more. It is going to be a lifesaver,” the head of state said.

The president is sure that potatoes will be especially in demand in the neighboring states, primarily Russia and Ukraine.

Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed the importance of the agricultural industry in the current conditions: “If we have something to sell, we will sell it easily and at a good price. Our farmers have deserved it. After all, we have invested a lot of labor and money in agriculture. And now food is in high demand. So it's good that we planted crops in time. The winter was normal, and the planting campaign was good. You just have to work hard and make good money on this this year,” the Belarusian leader said.

In general, it was reported that things with the sale of products are good. “Everything is in the works. Contracts have been signed. They are being executed,” the agriculture minister said.

The supply of food products to the domestic market has been equally stable.

The meeting also discussed the distribution of areas under various crops. For example, farmers expect that this year it will be possible to significantly increase the harvest of grain and thus meet the state grain procurement target.

The head of state emphasized the need to grow forage crops for the needs of livestock. "High-quality feed should be made on the spot in every farm," he said.

Another topic raised at the meeting was about the provision of fuel to farms. “There should be no problems with fuel. Today, oil is cheap. Take as much as you want. You should make large containers available to make up fuels stocks," the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also asked about the availability of harvesting equipment, in particular grain harvesters. If the harvest is good, it should be removed from the fields quickly when the time comes. In this connection, necessary instructions for additional production and delivery were given. "We need to gird our loins, because the demand for food will be high," he said.

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