Agricultural enterprises of Gomel Oblast make a considerable contribution to increasing the food supplies of the country, satisfying the domestic demand for major foodstuffs and exporting agricultural produce abroad. To enhance the existing capacities, the agricultural industry needs to deepen the specialization, improve infrastructure, employ progressive resource-saving technologies in plant growing, cattle breeding and processing of agricultural produce.
At present, the agricultural industry of the oblast incorporates 221 enterprises (state-run and communal enterprises, agricultural cooperatives, open joint stock companies, private enterprises, affiliates of investor-organizations), 258 private farms. There are over 170,000 household plots in the oblast.
The local agriculture is dominated by milk and beef farming, poultry, production of grain, potatoes and other vegetables, fodder and industrial crops. Cereal crops are grown all over the region and occupy 51.1% of the cultivated area. The crop production is secondary to cattle breeding; therefore 36.5% of land is allocated to fodder crops. Potatoes occupy 7.6% of the farmland, vegetables and industrial crops 8.3%.
The high crop yield is the result of the hard work of crop growers, machine operators, specialists and top managers of enterprises. In 2009, the oblast cropped a record high harvest of grain of over 1.3 million tonnes, over 200,000 tonnes of potatoes, 95,000 tonnes of vegetables; the harvest of fodder and industrial crops was good, too. Some agricultural enterprises boast the crop yield similar to that in the most advanced European countries. A strong focus is maintained on securing fodder supplies.
The Gomel Oblast agriculture specializes in cattle breeding. Milk is produced by 633 farms of the oblast.
In 2009 farmers and dairy workers received the highest milk yield (765,200 tonnes of milk; 4212 kilos of an average milk yield, with it exceeding 5,000 kilos in two districts). Eleven hog-breeding farms keep 85.9% of the total cattle head. The meat production ratio there accounts for 92.7% of the total amount. There are five battery farms.
In comparable prices the oblast’s agro-industrial sector made Br2.119 trillion worth of products in 2009.
Manufacturing of animal products and an increase in production will remain a priority in the sector’s development in the upcoming years. The increase will be made by strengthened food supply and technical upgrading of the production process.
In the oblast there are three meat-packing plants, eleven milk-processing companies, milk-canning plants, a creamery, three canneries, five wineries and other companies that produce high-quality products, competitive at the domestic and foreign markets. The entire produce undergoes a multisample inspection. The companies have ISO and HACCP international system certificates. The companies have taken numerous awards at the national and international exhibitions. The major customers are the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Kazakhstan. The commodity-distribution network plays a special role in advancing products. There are five outposts in Russia and two in Ukraine.
The agro-industrial sector of Gomel Oblast has becoming more and more attractive for national and foreign investors. An estimated Br205.3 billion of investment was utilized last year alone. The investment helps improve the quality of products, expand the export potential of the companies.