Kazakhstan plans $20bn agriculture investment programme

By bne IntelliNews October 11, 2012

Clare Nuttall in Astana -

In a bid to boost productivity, the Kazakh government is planning to spend KZT3trn ($20bn) to support the development of the agro-industrial sector by 2020, it announced on October 10.

Astana wants to increase production by 1.5 times its current level in the next eight years, agriculture ministry official Yevgeny Aman told a business council on the sector's development, according to Kazinform.

The announcement follows the disappointing harvest in 2012, when grain crops were seriously damaged by drought. With 99% of planted areas already harvested, Kazakhstan expects a 47% fall in grain output compared to 2011.

That has pushed the government's Agribusiness-2020 programme to a substantial increase in subsidies; farmer are now set to see support increase by 4.5 times over the next eight years. "Exploring opportunities to support farmers, we have chosen four areas: financial recovery, increasing the availability of goods and services to farmers, development of national systems for [insurance], and increasing the efficiency of public administration," Aman said.

Kazakhstan has already made progress in increasing agricultural productivity following a sharp slump in the decade following the breakup of the Soviet Union. Investments have been made into a variety of areas including livestock breeding, greenhouses and grain storage infrastructure.

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