“Vitebsk Oblast has nowhere to back down. People should come to you and learn from you how to organize similar integrated structures and revive unprofitable enterprises as one unit,” the head of state stressed.
The head of state pointed out that the region set up seven integrated structures, in which unprofitable, low-profit enterprises are affiliated with meat and milk processing companies. “The idea was simple and doable when we made the decision on integrated structures: we have land, we have people, we will help with machinery,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted. According to the president, the aim of such structures is to get meat and milk from farms, process the products at the main enterprise of the holding and invest the earnings from this into the development of the farms. “We will work in such a manner in Vitebsk Oblast for the next year, or two, or even the whole five-year period, if we still work together after the election,” the head of state noted.
Aleksandr Lukashenko got familiar with operation of one of the integrated structures of Vitebsk Oblast. “This is what all of Vitebsk Oblast should be like, but even better in terms of quality, technologies, productivity, and efficiency,” the president remarked.
According to him, focus should be placed on equipment of enterprises. “The holding companies (integrators), meat processing plants should be the most technologically advanced to be able to produce the finest goods from raw materials supplied by farmers, which will enjoy a high demand,” the president stressed. He also pointed out that need to ensure a high quality of products because only then they will be in demand in the domestic and foreign markets alike. “We will always find a place in the world to sell our food products to. This is why we should be boosting the output of milk and meat. But we need to make highest-quality goods that will sell like hot cakes,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
The head of state also warned that agricultural holdings should not be developing at the expense of farms.
The president instructed to apply the best practices of Vitebsk Oblast in setting up integrated structures in other regions if needed. “Do not think that this regards only Vitebsk Oblast. We can establish similar integrated structures in Mogilev Oblast and Minsk Oblast: bind unprofitable enterprises as a source of raw materials and meat or milk processing companies together,” he said. “At least one structure in a region. They will be useful everywhere, even in Grodno Oblast and some districts,” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.
The president intends to continue visiting enterprises that are part of integrated structures during his working trips to see the state of affairs first-hand.
“If we implement this, if we succeed, it will yield results,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “If we can revive the agricultural sector even in Vitebsk Oblast… Put everything in order for people to work here with pleasure, for the youth to flock here, and they will,” the president believes.
The head of state noted that the pandemic and the hysteria over it have also changed people's way of thinking. “They have come to understand that we need to hold onto the land. People are reevaluating their actions and principles, and this benefits the agricultural sector,” he said.
During the meeting, Vitebsk Oblast Governor Nikolai Sherstnev delivered a report about the social and economic development of Vitebsk Oblast, pointing out the positive dynamics in Q1 2020.