Yerbol Karashukeyev inspects agricultural development in Zhetysu and Karaganda regions

The Minister of Agriculture, Yerbol Karashukeyev, conducted working visits to the Zhetysu and Karaganda regions in October this year. The head of the Ministry of Agriculture got acquainted with the activities of local agricultural enterprises and met with farmers. 

In Zhetysu region Yerbol Karashukeyev visited operating farms. In total, there are 36 dairy farms in the region for 8.3 thousand animals. One of them, where the minister visited, this year invested additional 900 million tenge to expand production. Now on IE Karimov dairy farm there are 900 cattle, 600 of them milk cows. By the end of the year it is planned to put into exploitation 1 additional MTP for 80 cattle and expansion 2 MTP for 950 cattle.

Karashukeyev told about the planned innovations in terms of subsidizing the industry. For example, agricultural producers applying for subsidies for milk delivered to factories will be required to have machine milking facilities with a milk pipeline. This is necessary to ensure the safety of products. At the same time the norm will not apply to co-operatives for milk collection from household farms.

Also in the region there are 76 fattening sites for 33.0 thousand cows. Another 6 sites for 5,7 thousand heads are under construction.

The minister also saw how one of the breeding centres of Zhetysu - Asyl LLP - works, which aims to preserve and augment the gene pool of breeding animals. Cryopreservation of semen is carried out here on the hi-tech equipment.

By 2025, 67 investment projects worth 31.9 billion tenge are planned in Zhetysu region. Implementation of investment projects will allow to compensate deficit of agricultural products in off-season period and stabilize prices in regional markets, as well as create about 1000 working places.

As part of the working visit, Yerbol Karashukeyev got acquainted with the progress of the harvesting campaign in the region. As of October 4 this year the harvest was 15,9 mln. ha of grain, 21,2 mln. tons of grain were threshed at average yield of 13,3 centners/ha, including 284,8 ths. ha in Zhetysu region, 658,6 ths. tons of grain were threshed at average yield of 23,1 centners/ha.

Within the framework of the program "Ken Dala", as well as due to own funds ACC financed - 3 916 AHTP in the amount of 115.9 billion tenge, of which in Zhetysu and Almaty regions financed 100 AHTP in the amount of 1.4 billion tenge.

In addition, it is planned to harvest oilseeds from the area of 3.5 million hectares of which in Zhetysu region - 96.1 thousand hectares, potatoes - 198.9 thousand hectares, including 13.6 thousand hectares of region and vegetable crops - 270.0 thousand hectares, including 9.1 thousand hectares in Zhetysu region respectively.

In harvesting works about 1 605 agricultural machinery, 976 of which are grain-harvesting combines. To conduct autumn fieldwork about 423.4 thousand tons of diesel fuel at prices 15-20% lower than the market price, including in Zhetysu region about 6.8 thousand tons.

The work on preparation of material and technical base of storages to receive grain of new crop is carried out as planned. The total volume of available storage capacity of grain is 29.1 million tons, which is enough to store grain given the projected yield.

In the current season, Prodkorporatsiya plans to purchase up to 1.1 million tons of grain.

In general, the harvesting campaign is going according to plan and is under the special control of the Ministry of Agriculture.

As for the systematic and rapid anti-crisis measures for the development of agro-industrial complex adopted by the Government and the Ministry of Agriculture, currently the total amount of subsidies, taking into account additional allocation of budgetary funds in clarification of the national budget is more than 451 billion tenge, which is 20% more than the level of 2021.

In addition, 20.0 billion tenge is allocated for forward purchase to form a grain forage fund in the amount of 279 thousand tons, which in case of recurrence of drought in 2021 will ensure the safety of livestock and poultry.

This year, by order of the President, the state support to the agro-industrial complex is being carried out according to the current rules for subsidies, and the deadline for introduction of the new mechanism of subsidies was postponed to 1 January 2023. The new subsidy rules have now been drafted and are being discussed within the working group.

Generally speaking, the main key points of the existing mechanism remain. The changes will be mainly aimed at reducing existing corruption risks as much as possible and simplifying the procedure for obtaining subsidies by introducing a new state information system for subsidies.

All financial instrument subsidies will remain, such as investment subsidies, interest rate subsidies on loans and leasing, insurance premium subsidies, and loan guarantee insurance. The requirements for subsidizing construction and installation works will be tightened and the procedures for subsidizing boreholes and wells will be simplified, because the anti-corruption service has made a lot of remarks on these matters.

As for crop production, the existing guidelines and regulations remain in place. Changes will be made to subsidize the cost of sugar beet. The Ministry proposes to raise norms from 15 to 25 thousand tenge per tonne of raw material delivered for processing to sugar mills.

As for livestock farming, it is also proposed to mainly retain the existing directions, types and norms of subsidies. However, it is proposed to abolish rent subsidies as well as artificial insemination and breeding services for agricultural cooperatives that do not have their own livestock, as these are the items that pose high corruption risks.

For poultry, all current regulations remain unchanged. As well as all types of commodity-specific subsidies and their funding sources remain unchanged. Milk subsidies will be new. Agricultural producers applying for subsidies for milk delivered to dairies will be required to have a milking machine with a milk pipeline. This is done to ensure product safety. In the meantime, such a norm will not apply to milk collection co-operatives from household farms. However, this will be a temporary measure for them as from 2026, milk without machine milking with a milk pipeline will not be subsidised.

It is also proposed to set unified standards for acquisition of breeding stock for domestic and imported animals in dairy cattle at 300 thousand tenge, in beef - 200 thousand tenge per 1 head, and thereby to provide breeders with equal conditions for competition. The norms of subsidies for delivery of steers and lambs for fattening and meat processing remain unchanged.

For fodder subsidies, it is proposed to specify the conditions for such support. In particular, it was proposed to subsidize only hay and bran and only in case of emergency situation or abnormal weather conditions confirmed by Kazhydromet.

Another innovation is the introduction of counter-obligations for subsidy recipients. They will look as follows:

˗ ensuring an annual increase of at least 3% in sales of own production (excluding force majeure);

˗ ensuring an annual increase in labour productivity;

˗ ensuring investments in fixed assets at least once every 5 years.

Thus, the key points of the new subsidy rules are to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of allocated subsidies through mechanisms to introduce effective instruments for monitoring and evaluation of reciprocal obligations, to eliminate corruption risks as much as possible, and to simplify the procedure for obtaining subsidies through digitalisation.

Starting July 1 this year, in order to minimise corruption risks through digitalisation, a new unified state information system for subsidies will be launched that is free of charge for farmers and is integrated with all state information systems. It will replace the current system "Coldau".

In addition, new areas of state support are being introduced, such as subsidies for producers to implement the results of scientific and technological activities, R&D and subsidies for the cost of services provided by cooperatives to their members. They are aimed at accelerating the processes of technological upgrading of production and stimulating and developing the cooperative movement in rural areas.

The adoption of these systemic measures will enhance the sustainability of the country's agricultural development, including that of Zhetysu region.

In the framework of a working visit to Karaganda region, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture visited the large milk processing plant "Natizhe". The plant annually processes about 44 thousand tons of milk and provides several cities in Kazakhstan with dairy products. It should be noted that in the region today work 39 dairy farms, 4 more with capacity 9,8 thousand tons of milk a year will open by the end of the year.

Yerbol Karashukeyev has also visited the legendary Karagandy Nan bakery. Today the corporation produces about 220 types of products, which are exported to Russia, Belarus and Central Asian countries.

In addition, the Head of the Ministry of Agriculture got acquainted with the work of "Chance" farm in Abay district. The farm with 25 years of history is engaged in grain and vegetable crops, as well as cattle breeding. In the past two years, farmers have received more than a billion tenge in state subsidies, including for the construction of a feed mill and the purchase of a grain-cleaning machine.

At a meeting with regional agricultural producers, Yerbol Karashukeyev told about state support measures in the field of agribusiness, as well as new subsidy mechanisms, which will start operating in 2023.

In general, today, thanks to the measures provided by the Government, the Karaganda region shows positive results in the development of agriculture. For example, 6 feeding grounds for 17 thousand heads are operating in the region. This year, 1 more site is under construction with a production capacity of 450 tons per year. Thirty-nine dairy farms are operating at 8,600 heads. By the end of the year, 4 more dairy farms are expected to be commissioned with a total production capacity of 9,800 tonnes of milk per year.

In the region till 2026 it is planned to realize 72 investment projects in agro-industrial complex amounting to 141 billion tenge. Implementation of investment projects will allow to compensate deficit of agricultural products in off-season period and stabilise prices in regional markets, as well as allow to create about 3 200 working places.

Speaking of government support measures for the development of the agro-industrial complex, it should be noted that in order to mitigate the impact on farmers of volatility in global food markets, it was decided to increase subsidies by 139 billion tenge. As a result, the total amount of subsidies this year amounted to 453 billion tenge, including 38.3 billion tenge in Karaganda region. Also, the amount of funding for spring field and harvesting works has been increased by an additional 70 billion tenge, bringing the total amount of budget lending to 140 billion tenge.

The practice of forward purchasing by JSC NC Food Contract Corporation continued. At the same time, this year the amount of funding is brought up to 80 billion tenge, which is 2 times higher than last year. This season, the Food Contract Corporation in the framework of forward contracts plans to purchase about 1.1 million tons of crops. At the same time, the Food Corporation has set purchase prices for crops for which forward contracts have been concluded earlier. The established purchase prices are fair for all market participants, including the agricultural producers themselves.

It should also be noted that within the framework of implementation of the Head of State's instruction by the beginning of mass harvesting works the mechanism of subsidized crediting of agricultural machinery by JSC "Zhasyl Damu", for which about 40.0 billion tenge was allocated, was worked out.

All these measures allowed to gather a good yield, nowadays it is harvested 16,0 million hectares of cereals, threshed 21,8 million tons of grain at average yield 13,7 centners/hectare, including in Karaganda region 919,9 thousand hectares are harvested, threshed 885,1 thousand tons of grain at average yield 9,6 c/hectare. Grain harvesting is fully completed in all regions of the country.

Oilseeds harvesting is conducted on the area of 2,8 mln ha or 81,0% of harvested area (plan - 3,5 mln ha), gross output of oilseeds is 2,3 mln tons at average yield 8,1 c/ha, including 58,5 mln ha or 100% harvested in Karaganda region, gross output of oilseeds is 31,1 thousand tons at average yield 5,3 c/ha. Harvested about 3.9 million tons of potatoes, including 404.3 thousand tons in Karaganda region.

On instructions from the Head of State, the Ministry of Agriculture is already completing work to improve the system of subsidies for the agro-industrial sector. New approaches to agricultural subsidies have been developed to improve the effectiveness of state support measures through the introduction of counter commitments for agricultural producers, eliminating existing corruption risks in accordance with the recommendations of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan to combat corruption.

Norms are being introduced for recipients of subsidies to accept counter-obligations on achievement of specific indicative indicators and introduction of effective control tools. A range of measures will be taken to eliminate existing distortions in terms of creating a level playing field for competitors and to specify and expand the powers of local executive bodies in subsidy issues.

Procedures for approving local governments' resolutions on subsidies will be simplified. A key innovation of the new subsidy system will be its digitisation.

At present, the development of a unified state information system on subsidies is in its final stage. Its main function will be an automatic register of subsidy recipients, check their correspondence with the category of agricultural producers by OKED, registration of counter obligations of subsidy recipients, and evaluation of their performance, the order of receiving subsidies and waiting list of unsatisfied applications. Currently, new subsidy rules have been drafted and are under discussion within the working group.

The adoption of these systematic measures will improve the sustainability of agricultural development in the country, including the Karaganda Region.

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