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Opinions & Interviews

22 Mar 2019

Lukashenko: Agricultural sector has great prospects

Lukashenko: Agricultural sector has great prospects

BARANOVICHI, 22 March (BelTA) – The agricultural sector has great economic prospects, President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with senior officials of the Baranovichi municipal and district administrations on 22 March, BelTA informs.

“We produce flax, milk… Oil does not have such a profit margin today. Even the Belarusian oil that we sell a little bit (and this is the best type of oil) does not generate such profit. Some farming enterprises that grow potatoes, onions and other vegetables (and not only vegetables) make good money and their profit margin is high,” the head of state said.

“Of course, it is impossible to become a billionaire, even a millionaire, if you work in the agricultural industry. However, if you work hard, you can live well,” the head of state is convinced.

According to Alexander Lukashenko, it is necessary to analyze market trends and focus on those products that are in biggest demand. Apart from that, the climate change in Belarus made it possible to cultivate some untraditional crops. “Before you embark on your work, you should think properly what kinds of products and what commodities you want to produce and where you will sell them,” the president added. 

“We can produce more meat and milk. However, we should have a clear-cut marketing strategy for these products. We are in a situation when our elder brother can shut the door on us, and we are not so much welcome in the European Union, either, because they have enough of their own milk and meat. Therefore, we have to explore faraway markets. It is good that we have good relations with China. Therefore, before you start producing some product, you need to think what you will do with it,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state noted that Brest Oblast and Baranovichi District in particular have a lot of idle land along rivers and around settlements. “It is time to come to grips with land mismanagement. The issue should be tackled within two years,” the president said.

Another question is how to use this land. For example, land along rivers is overhydrated. “Don’t we have crops that should be cultivated on overhydrated land?” We have enough of them,” the Belarusian leader noted.

The same pertains to other types of soil. They should be used for cultivating certain types of crops depending on their specific features. “I do not want to push for anything, but the climate has changed in Belarus, in particular here and in Gomel Oblast. The area to the south of Minsk now has the same climate as once was near Kiev and to the south of it. I was born in a village. I have lived a long life and I see the changes,” the head of state said.

He recalled that Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon agreed to help Belarus promote fruit farming using Tajik expertise and crop varieties, including those of grapes that can withstand the temperature of up to minus 25 degrees in Tajikistan. “In order to promote import substitution, we brought this grapevine here by plane and planted it on the area of ten hectares in Gomel and ten hectares in Brest. We can grow it here already. This is one of the promising things to do. These are my experiments. I am not talking about watermelons, but about our traditional crops – potatoes, the most up-to-date varieties,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The president believes that it is necessary to advance agriculture to a new level and cultivate products that can surprise people. “Potatoes and other crops can be a surprise if they are made to the green technology. We can make good money on it. We should expand production by means of crops that are not common for Belarus”, the president said.

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