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16 July 2010

Belarus looks set to harvest 10mn tonnes of grain crops this year

RECHITSA, 16 July (BelTA) – This year Belarus looks set to harvest 10 million tonnes of grain crops, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said when talking to reporters during a working trip to the Gomel Oblast. The corn harvest may amount to 1 million tonnes. This year Belarus will have a good harvest of all crops. “If we get the harvest we expect then it will be a victory,” he said. According to the head of state, such harvest is good for the mid-term perspective. But it should be bigger in the next five-year term. Alexander Lukashenko noted that the country had already learnt to store grain; the barns in Belarus can store 12-15 million tonnes of grain. “I believe that time will come when foodstuffs, not the natural resources like oil and gas, will determine the life and well-being of people,” he added. The President emphasized that Belarus does not have plans to sell bread crops; instead, it will use it as animal feed and export meat and dairy products. In his words, the severe drought in Russia and Kazakhstan will increase the demand for agricultural produce in these countries. “Bread will be expensive this year. This is why the requirements for the harvesting campaign will be extremely tough. The crops have to be harvested well and sold at a good price. We have an opportunity to preserve everything we have grown,” the head of state said. The President reminded that this year the country expects to earn $3 billion from the export of agricultural produce, in the next five-year period, the profits may hit $5-7 billion. “In this case we will live in security, smile and look at our neighbors who try to bend us shutting off gas or oil supplies. We have to rely solely on our products. Agriculture does not lag behind anymore, it is efficient and profitable,” the President said. Alexander Lukashenko informed that next week he plans to tour the Brest and Grodno oblasts and check the harvesting campaign there.