21 June 2022
Lukashenko sets goal for 10m-tonne grain harvest in Belarus
The task is to reach a gross grain harvest of 9-10 million tonnes in the near term, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during a working visit to Mogilev Oblast on 20 June, BelTA has learned.
Upon arrival at the field with different varieties of winter barley sown as an experiment, the head of state stressed that today is a historic and crucial moment in agriculture. The president said that he grew up in these places at the junction of Mogilev Oblast and Vitebsk Oblast and here he is trying out various new approaches to agriculture. “This is how the president's field took shape. Today is a historic moment. If anyone thinks that we have met here to talk and show off once again, the experts will see that this is not the case,” he said.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus is in the area of risk farming. One of the problems in agriculture is a short vegetation period of plants. There is a short period from sowing to harvesting. The country needs to cultivate the crops that are suitable for these conditions.
“We need to reach 9-10 million tonnes of grain without including colza,” he set the task.
The matter of getting enough high-quality grains is of particular relevance for Vitebsk Oblast and some other areas of the country – the north of Mogilev, Minsk and Grodno oblasts.
“As for Vitebsk we have been talking about changing crop rotation for years, but not a single head of Vitebsk Oblast has ever solved this problem. Cultivation of grassy fodder is not enough. We need concentrates, mixed fodder. We need grain for this. What do we need to cultivate?” the Belarusian leader asked.
The president recalled his last year's task to winter barley cultivation. It is harvested before the other crops. This enables to quickly get fodder for livestock farming and to prepare equipment for the main harvest. The head of state used this approach when he was head of the farm.
“I believe we need to return to more intensive cultivation of winter barley. One thing I was concerned about last year, when I made this tough decision, was whether we could get more than just yields. We need good quality grain. If we get 10 million tonnes, we will be happy. We need to do it on the same areas, without reducing the volume of colza and other crops. I mean through intensive farming,” the president said.
“This year has shown that winter barley is a miracle. I have never seen such fields of winter barley, first of all. Secondly, I have not seen many fields of grain like this. I am here for the third time this year. I am absolutely convinced that we need winter barley,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
The president was briefed that this crop was sown on 61,000 hectares out of 5 million hectares of arable land in the country: “This is nothing. I think we first need to reach 250,000-300,000 hectares of barley. This is truly a turning point in agriculture in terms of saturating our livestock industry with quality fodder.”
“Under no circumstances should we descend to barley cultivation without technology! We should not do it without technology. It is a way out for Vitebsk Oblast. It really is a turning point in agriculture,” the president said addressing governors and scientists.
Colza cultivation was another issue on the agenda of the president's working trip. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed the great importance of this crop for agriculture.
“Colza means money for farmers. Today even during these frantic sanctions Europe asks for colza oil. We must reach a million [tonnes of harvest]. We already have more than 700,000 today. Even with these areas if we do everything according to the technology, we will have one million tonnes,” the head of state said.
“This will turn the tide in agriculture. We need to cultivate both winter barley and colza. We will meet here once again during the harvest season,” said the head of state.
Aleksandr Lukashenko studied the modern varieties at the experimental field in Shklov District. The strict observance of technology gives high results, he said. Other regions should follow suit.
“We have to give impetus to this great cause. Believe me, it will be a revolution in agriculture. There will be famine in the world, even I already believe that. If we ensure food security... We have already ensured it,” said the head of state.
He pointed out that the discussed topic is very important for the provision of fodder for livestock industry. “If we can feed livestock, we will always have milk and meat. I will also ask them [those in charge of livestock sector] about the loss of livestock,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
In his words, if Belarus implements all this, “the country will never have problems with money”.
After the barley field the head of state visited the colza field. “Both fields are showing good harvests. It means we know how to cultivate, how to grow. We just need to do everything according to the technology,” he said.
“What prevents us from having such colza everywhere?” Aleksandr Lukashenko wondered.
The issue of providing modern equipment in agriculture was also discussed during the trip. Equipment has become more expensive and sophisticated. It is important that the specialists treat it with care and use it properly.