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April 8 2002, 17:18

Dairy sector in Belarus. S.O.S.

BDG reported that Ministry of Agriculture in Belarus predicts 70% of Belarusian diary plants to go broke by the end of this year. Average profitability of such plants showed a mere 5%.

Today, Belarus has 114 dairy plants and 50 small workshops. They take care of about 98% of the country dairy market. Annual dairy product consumption makes up 300 kg per capita.

Ministry of Agriculture Food Department Chief Vasiliy Zhukov remarked that most of the plants are communal property in the Oblasts where "political levers very often replace economical ones".

The Ministry developed a program to restructure this sector where plants with poor economic indicators should become subsidiaries of more sufficient colleagues and western capital should be attracted through selling some stock.

This program also has a target of bringing Belarusian diary products to ISO 9000.

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