Belarusian President Expects Record-High Crop This Year

Text of report by Belarusian privately-owned news agency Belapan

Minsk, 1 August: "I want the country's agriculture to finally become efficient, for no one to reproach us that we 'bury' money," Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said, visiting Salihorsk district in Minsk Region on 1 August.

"There has never been such a crop in Belarusian history, and we must gather it. We have the cleanest grain ever. We invest so much money in agriculture, so this is the result," Lukashenka said.

He said that even though the grain still needs to be dried in some regions, it is necessary to harvest it as quickly as possible. "This will still be efficient and cost-effective. The main thing today is to get not only grain, but also meat and milk," Lukashenka said. He said that in the conditions of the global food crisis Belarus could "sell meat and milk to the rich countries that sell oil and gas to us".

Lukashenka believes that this year's crop will allow creating a seed fund for two or three years. "Each ton of grain is more expensive than gold today. If we lose this grain, we will be poor," Lukashenka said.

Originally published by Belapan news agency, Minsk, in Russian 1109 1 Aug 08.



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