Food security has become a major challenge amid quarantine constraints. It is impossible to solve it without high-performance agriculture and competitive processing industries. This was announced by President of Kazakhstan Tokayev at an expanded government meeting on January 26, KazakhZerno.kz reports.
President Tokayev drew attention to the sad fact that so far the country cannot feed itself. Statistics testify to this: over the 11 months of last year, food imports amounted to $3.6 billion, exceeding the entire annual volume of 2019 by 9%.
It has also become obvious that the target indicators of the current State Program for the Development of Agro-Industrial Complex for 2017-2021 will not be achieved.
As a result of the industry weakness, the population suffers from import dependence. Namely: during the period of declining incomes due to the pandemic, the cost of food, on the contrary, grew rapidly. "Prices for socially significant products increased by 11%, their contribution to total inflation amounted to more than 60%. Measures taken by state agencies to contain prices, including preferential lending to retail chains and the establishment of marginal trade allowances, did not bring positive results, " the President stated. He instructed the government to develop a set of measures to solve all these problems using market mechanisms.
One of the factors for stabilizing prices on agricultural products President Tokayev called the creation of the National Commodity Supply System, which includes the construction of 24 wholesale distribution centers. "There are especially many complaints from Almaty and Turkestan regions," the President said. "Cattle grazing is carried out only on 36% of the area, and 46 million hectares of pastures are empty. I instruct the Government, together with the Prosecutor General's Office, to return these pastures for the cattle grazing by the end of this year. They need to be used for the benefit of the villagers. "
President Tokayev also recalled that on his instructions, a new national project on the agro-industrial complex is being developed. It should ensure a breakthrough in the development of the country's agro-industrial complex.
In turn, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Mamin said that 112 projects will be implemented in 2021, including projects in the agro-industrial complex and mechanical engineering, valued at 2 trillion tenge. This will allow employing 13.4 thousand people. It is planned to launch 49 enterprises in the food industry.
General, the Agro-Industrial Complex is actively working on the formation of seven large ecosystems (production and processing of meat, dairy products, etc) totaling 1.2 trillion tenge. This new approach to the development of the Agro-Industrial Complex will increase the volume of agricultural exports by 15% in 2021, the share of processed products in this volume will be 35%.