Country: Kazakhstan
02 February 2024

24 January, 2024, 24.KZ REPORTS: It is known that food security is a priority task in Kazakhstan. New production facilities are being created in the country, new technologies are being introduced, and subsidies are being allocated. The key goal is to improve the quality of domestic food products.

There have already been some successes, industry experts note. For example, milk, sour cream, kefir - the country provides more than 70% of the market for these product items. But, for example, with cheese produced in Kazakhstan within the country, as they say, there is “strain.”

In the Karabalyk district of the Kostanay region, two agricultural projects have begun to be implemented at once. This is a modern incubator with a capacity of 4.5 million heads per year and a dairy farm. According to forecasts, annual poultry production in the region will increase to 13 thousand tons. Experts note that the demand for these products today is higher than ever. Changes are also expected in the dairy sector.

Maral Ybyrai, head of the agricultural department of the Karabalyk region:

- The capacity of this project is 3 thousand 700 tons per year. The payback period for the project itself is 5-6 years. Net income will be annually. About 500 million - in the first year, in the subsequent year - 1 billion 200 million. Milk will be sold in the district, Kostanay region. Milk processing is being worked on further.

Kazakhstan has been running subsidy programs for dairy producers for several years. As a result, today on store shelves Kazakhstanis have a good selection of sour cream or kefir produced in Kazakhstan. However, the domestic market still experiences import dependence, primarily on certain types of products that come from Russia, experts say.

Vladimir Kozhevnikov, Director of the Dairy Union of Kazakhstan:

  - The situation is difficult now. The market next to us is a very large Russian one. They have this concept of “economy of scale”. Their economy is 15 times larger than ours, so their production costs are lower. We especially suffer when it comes to cheeses. Today, small-scale production of high-quality milk suitable for cheese production is small. We lost this industry at one time. Now we are trying to restore it, but very slowly.

For Kazakh dastarkhans to become literally domestic or, in other words, to consist of our products, not only additional financial support measures are needed, but also the introduction of advanced technologies, says Mazhilis Deputy Aidarbek Khojanazarov.

Aidarbek Khojanazarov, Deputy of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan:

- In order to begin to compete with large producers, such as Russia and Belarus, in the production of sausages, milk and so on, we need to introduce new technologies in production. I was at a cheese factory in Belarus. You know, only 20 people work there, everything is furnished, automated, there is almost no human intervention. We must go exactly in this direction. We need to ensure sufficient funding for projects of this level to be implemented. Not just the state. We need to think about monetary policy, because in the current situation in second-tier banks and with those rates, the situation is absolutely not stimulating the growth of the economy and production.

There is an opinion that a lot is already being invested in the agro-industrial complex. Millions of dollars in subsidies are sent there every year. However, according to Ivan Sauer, a man whose company maintains a leading position in the Kazakh market, the issue is not even a matter of finances.

Ivan Sauer, farmer:

- When our bankers and our financial institutions speak, they all try to say that agriculture is not an industry in which we should invest, because too much has been invested there. I strongly disagree with this. Yes, we took out loans, we work with banks, but we have never in our entire history allowed ourselves any delays and we are always increasing production volumes, labor productivity, and people’s quality of life. We fully look at all aspects of development. Every year we increase tax deductions. You need to invest in the agricultural sector, but you need to invest in it wisely. These investments must be strictly controlled. We must match this money with concrete results.

To provide the country with quality food, systemic measures are being taken, the Cabinet of Ministers assures. For example, in 2023, 100 billion tenge was allocated for the opening of 65 dairy farms. In the next two years, it is planned to fully supply the domestic market with milk. Also, another 100 billion tenge will be allocated for the construction of poultry farms and storage warehouses.

The key goal is that when we come to the supermarket, we increasingly see the inscription "Made in Kazakhstan", and this, in turn, serves as a guarantee of quality. Authors: Sania Kopzhasarova, Anuar Abdrakhmanov.

Please find the original version of the article below:

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