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Belarus PM wants potato storages commissioned on time

MINSK, 27 November (BelTA) – Prime Minister of Belarus Mr Mikhail Myasnikovich said that the program to commission new potato storages must be fulfilled. Mikhail Myasnikovich made the relevant statement at the session of the Council of Ministers Presidium held on 27 November to discuss the construction and reconstruction of potato and vegetable storage facilities, BelTA has learned.

“We have to fulfill instructions of the head of state and make sure the potato storages are commissioned,” stressed the Prime Minister. This year the capacity of Belarusian potato storages is expected to rise by 31%. “We should be able to store virtually 850,000 tonnes of potatoes at the same time. It is somewhat above our balances,” remarked Mikhail Myasnikovich. Yet the construction of the installations is slow. The fact had been pointed out by the State Control Committee, said the Prime Minister. Audits have revealed that insufficient attention is paid in the regions to this project. The situation regarding vegetable storages is somewhat better. This year their capacity should be raised by 25% to store 170,000-173,000 tonnes of vegetables simultaneously. In 2012 the capacity of fruit storages should be raised by 20%.

The figures mean the preservation of agricultural products, stressed Mikhail Myasnikovich. Making a product is one thing but delivering it to customers is another and it is most important.

The Prime Minister drew attention to import substitution as he referred to sales of apples on the home market. Belarus grows a sufficient amount of apples to satisfy the domestic demand, however, shops often sell imports instead of Belarus-grown apples. Mikhail Myasnikovich stressed it was inadmissible.

Summing up results of the agricultural year that has just ended, the Prime Minister reminded that Belarus had harvested about 10.5 million tonnes of cereals together with corn grain. However, the economy of the agriculture is shaped in a rather complicated manner, he remarked. There are plans to convene agriculture executives in February to discuss problems of the economy branch and ways to raise its effectiveness.

Mikhail Myasnikovich believes that heads of district administrations could do more about it. Apart from that, the Prime Minister pointed out the need to supply the agriculture with proprietary vegetable protein next year. For now it has to be imported. “I think that both clover and burclover have been forgotten in Belarus. We should get back to them just like we should get back to caring about lupine, soya, and sunflower,” concluded the head of government.