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Belarus president hears out report on progress in harvest campaign

MINSK (BelTA) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Rusy and Agriculture and Food Minister Leonid Zayats to receive their report on the progress in the harvest campaign and its preliminary results on 31 August, BelTA has learned.

First of all, the president asked about the results of the harvesting of grain which plays a crucial role in ensuring the country's food security. “I am not going to ask if we have enough grain to meet the demand of our people. We have had enough grain for 20 years,” the head of state said. “We have agreed that our grain reserves will make up about 1 million tonnes. Grain is good. This is gold.”

Alexander Lukashenko also emphasized that grain is also needed to meet the demand of fodder in animal husbandry and poultry farming. “Of course, these is, first of all, compound animal fodder. Therefore, I am especially interested in the grain harvesting terms and balance,” he said.

Secondly, the president asked about the forecasts and the progress in the harvesting of corn and potatoes. “There are huge lands. The harvesting has not been finished after the harvesting of grain. What about fruit and vegetables? Will we have enough fruit and vegetables to form stabilization funds?” the Belarusian leader asked. “People should always have an opportunity to buy carrot, beetroot, cabbage, apples, etc.”

The report also focused on the procurement of grass fodder. “We must finish the procurement of fodder in a proper way. This is a good year for procuring grass fodder,” the head of state emphasized.

“And the main thing is autumn sowing,” Alexander Lukashenko added. He asked about the state of affairs in that field.

According to Leonid Zayats, the grain harvesting campaign is nearing completion. “It is still needed to harvest 73,000 hectares of grain in Vitebsk Oblast. The pace of harvesting is increasing every day. All harvesters are working in all regions of Vitebsk Oblast. We hope for a high threshing yield,” he said.

It was also mentioned that in a number of northern regions grain has not ripened yet due to weather conditions this summer. The harvesting campaign will begin there in the near future.

According to the minister, about 7.4 million tonnes of grain has been harvested in the public sector only. This year's harvest will make up about 8.1 million tonnes (without corn) taking into account private farms and farmsteads. “This amount of grain is enough for sufficient food reserves in our country.” Leonid Zayats stressed.