Dairy farms’ failure to reconstruct bitterly criticized by Lukashenko
An effort to redevelop dairy industry has failed in the regions. Moreover, compared with 2012, milk production and sales volumes of dairy products have decreased in some regions.
An ambitious program to reconstruct dairy farms has had the opposite results. Agricultural enterprises were unable to carry out technical upgrades on their own. Currently only 10% of dairy farms have installed new equipment. But in many, the equipment either does not work or is not used.
Financial difficulties are the main reason why dairy farms were not reequipped in time. Lukashenko ordered them to finish the reconstruction at their own costs by October 1st, 2013. Currently, the programme has been implemented by 50%-70% only in five regions. Only 940 out of 1,208 dairy farms will have completed reconstruction by the year-end.
Lukashenko ordered the dairy industry to stop complaining and to look for additional resources, “this was your responsibility. I told you it would be a litmus test for the local governors’ competency”.
The Dairy Industry Development Programme envisages increasing the production volumes of milk and dairy products up to 10 million tons,and doubling dairy exports by 2015. It is already clear that the programme will not succeed.
In addition, banks refuse loans to agricultural enterprises. The only tool which could help the programme to be completed is targeted funding by the government. However the government insists that agricultural organizations should use their own funds and look for investors independently.