Belarus Agribusiness

Sector outlook

Belarus has good soils and a fair agricultural potential. Agriculture accounts for 8.6% of GDP and 9.6% of exports (2011). The main products include cereals, potatoes and other vegetables, livestock and dairy products, fruits. Belarusian companies are looking for foreign partners to foster technology transfer and increase their competiveness.

Belarus aims to increase its exports to USD 7 billion by 2015 (from USD 4 billion in 2011). The main focus of the Belarusian Agricultural Strategy is on milk, meat and food processing. Other sectoral programmes launched for the 2011-2015 period include the Potato sector and Vegetable and Fruit Growing Development.

Strategic direction

Belarus is interested in attracting foreign companies in order to achieve several strategic goals:

  • Diversification of production and of export markets, replacement of imports with locally produced goods;
  • Introduction of modern agricultural and food processing technologies (production, transformation, logistics, packaging and marketing), EU export certification;
  • Attraction of foreign capital: sale of state-owned companies, leasing, joint-ventures.

Business opportunities

Agriculture and food processing projects can be developed for the local markets or for exports in Russia, CIS countries and EU.

Promising sub-sectors:

  • Dairy sector and meat: 109 new mechanised and integrated cow farms (including biogas production facilities) to be built and 1,200 to be renovated in 2012;
  • Other interesting sectors: vegetable oil, processing of oil products for export and for cattle feeding in Belarus, potatoes, aquaculture.

Types of projects:

  • Investment: privatization of existing state-owned companies, establishment of joint-venture, greenfield and renovation projects, construction of biogas installations;
  • Business: supply of agricultural equipment, of modern food processing equipment.

Some success stories

Stotz Agro-Service (Germany) imports and sells state of the art farm equipment, including tractors and combine harvesters, and provides technical assistance (financing, training, after sales) in Belarus. It opened an office in Minsk in 1996. Its service and parts team today consists of more than 50 employees. The company also owns and runs Stotz Farm, a former collective dairy and cereal farm 20km outside Minsk, where it manages a herd of 800 cattle on 5,000 hectare. Since 2000, Stotz Agro-Service’s investment in Belarus stands at USD 30 million and the company employs 420 people.

Danone (France) and its Russian affiliate Unimilk established a 51-49 joint-venture with the Shklov Creamery in order to launch a EUR 24 million facility. It will produce 20 dairy products for home markets (yogurts are so far imported in Belarus) and for exports: cream, curd cheese and Danone yogurts.

Olvi (Finland), a major producer of beers, ciders and soft drink, acquired Grodno-based Lidskoe Pivo Brewery in late 2008. The brewery, which was built in 1876, was transformed into an open joint-stock company in 2000. Olvi launched a massive modernisation programme. Lidskoe Pivo controlled half of the Belarusian market in 2011.

Useful links and contacts

Belarusian CCI

National Agency of Investment and Privatization (NAIP)

Ministry of Agriculture and Food products

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of EUROCHAMBRES and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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