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Opportunities in agrotechnology in Kazakhstan for Finnish companies

General information

In 2021, the agricultural sector accounted for approximately 5.1% of Kazakhstan’s economic production.  Approximately 45% of the country’s population lives in rural areas. According to the Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy, out of the total number of 8.5 million employed, 2 million people work in the agricultural sector. 

Approximately 75% of the country’s territory is suitable for agriculture, but only about 30% of the land is currently under agricultural production. Kazakhstan also has sufficient water resources.

Kazakhstan is one of the top 10 grain exporters in the world, exporting to over 70 countries. Wheat is the largest crop by acreage, accounting for 80% of grain production. The country also produces barley, cotton, sunflower seeds, and rice.  Kazakhstan is the region’s largest flour exporter by volume, shipping mostly to other Central Asian countries and Afghanistan. 

The launch of the grain terminal at the port of Kuryk with a capacity of 1 million tons per year with a one-time storage of 25 thousand tons of grain crops is planned in 2023. The terminal will provide a route for grain to Middle Eastern and African countries.  

Seize the opportunity

Nearly 90% of agricultural machinery currently in use in Kazakhstan is at the end of its lifecycle and needs to be replaced.  The rate of machinery renewal over the past 5 years ranged from 3–4.9%, but this rate should reach 6–8% annually.

Local production of agricultural machinery and equipment is rather small. In 2020, the Kazakhstani agricultural machinery and equipment sector was estimated to be valued at $500 million, of which $300 million was imported.

Finnish companies can provide equipment, technologies, and solutions for sustainable agriculture development in Kazakhstan.  

Growing sectors

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY remains an important economic activity with around 75% of all agricultural land used for grazing.  While sheep breeding dominates the sector, cattle, pig, horse, and camel production are also important.

Additional measures will be taken in Kazakhstan to create conditions for the development of animal husbandry. 3 modern meat processing plants and 8 large poultry factories will be put into operation.  There are also plans to build 25 industrial and 30 family dairy farms.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture’s 2021-2030 Policy Document, the government plans to train beef cattle producers to increase beef exports, while the National Agricultural Sector Development Project Plan 2021-2025 called for increasing average cattle weight, average milk yield per cow, and domestic production of several “socially significant food products,” including poultry. 

FISH FARMING is developing dynamically in Kazakhstan. Over the past 7 years, the volume of fish raised has increased 9 times, from 800 tons to more than 7,000 tons. Today, 254 fish farms are engaged in the cultivation of commercial fish, of which 177 lake-commercial fish farms, 54 pond farms, 7 cage fish farms, 16 UZS and basin farms.

The Kazakh government is aiming to boost domestic fish production to 270,000 tons by 2030. The authorities expect 541 billion tenges of investments ($1.3 billion) to be pumped into the domestic aquaculture sector. Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated  5.4.2021 On the development of fisheries approved the Program for development of fisheries for 2021-2030. The government approved subsidies to reimburse 50 % of costs associated with brood stock purchases, 30% of the costs for the purchase of fish feed, 50% of the cost of developing a fish-breeding and biological justification, 50% of the cost of purchasing fish planting material, 50% of the cost of purchasing medicines. 

THE PRODUCTION OF VEGETABLE OIL is among the most promising directions of development. The key factors of attraction are access to raw materials in Kazakhstan (gross yield of oilseeds in 2019 amounted to 2.6 million tons) and the area sown to oilseeds (in 2019 reached about 3 million hectares). It is planned to increase land under cultivation of oilseeds to 5 million hectares in 2030.
The program Northern soybeans, in which is planned within 5 years to increase the acreage of soybean to 1.5 million hectares and the harvest of soybean seeds to more than 3 million tons. 

Most of THE GREENHOUSES are in the Turkestan, Almaty, Aktobe and Zhambyl regions. According to the statistics in 2019, 1236.5 hectares produce vegetables, 501 hectares out of which produce cucumbers and 706 hectares produce tomatoes. Among vegetable crops, tomatoes and cucumbers are the most common and significant food products. 

Financing and Leasing

State owned company KazAgroFinance is a leading organization in the market, providing leasing and financing services to the agriculture sector.  More than half of all agricultural machinery imported into Kazakhstan has been financially supported by KazAgroFinance. The company created the Electronic Supplier Base that serves as a bridge between the local agricultural sector and international equipment suppliers. The database includes more than 350 suppliers and more than 10,000 projects supported.   

Two additional state-owned financial organizations in the agriculture sector are the Fund for Financial Support of Agriculture that provides micro crediting for agriculture SMEs and rural populations, and the Kazakh Agrarian Credit Corporation, a financial institution providing loans and financial support to agricultural producers.  

International Projects

On May 23, 2015, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Kazakhstani Minister of Agriculture Assylzhan Mamytbekov signed an agreement establishing an FAO Partnership and Liaison Office in the country. FAO’s technical assistance has focused on the sustainable intensification of agricultural production, promoting conservation agriculture, organic farming, and sustainable natural resource management. 

In 2020, the World Bank Executive Board approved a $500 million loan to develop farming as part of the Sustainable Livestock Development Program. The Program proposes to provide credit to 20 000 farmers and to train 100 000 farmers. Beef production is generally associated with a high level of greenhouse gas emissions and land degradation. The Program could promote green growth and sustainability policies with climate-smart practices for beef cattle production, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved agro-environmental outcomes of beef support.  

Environmental challenges

Agriculture creates a great impact on the natural environment. Environmental pollution most often occurs due to the imperfection of the technologies used and non-compliance with established environmental requirements. Due to unsustainable agricultural practices over the past 30 years, the country has seen a significant decrease in humus content in topsoil, high desertification, and climate risk.

ESG issues become important in companies’ policy – especially visible in the case of larger players. The companies wanting to reduce their environmental impact are switching to more eco-friendly equipment. Measures and technologies already taken in use include effective use of acreage, selection of highly productive varieties, improvement of seed quality, cleaning equipment for capturing grain dust during grain processing, modern methods and technologies of waste disposal. 

Implementation of technologies for converting agricultural waste into energy can enable the energy sector to be less energy-intensive, more sustainable and climate-friendly. Considering that 80% of a country’s electricity generation comes from coal-fired plants, agricultural waste could be co-fired for the gradual replacement of coal with biomass, making the transition to a low-carbon economy and renewable energy sources easier.  

Target sectors

  • Agricultural equipment and solutions, including green houses and aquaculture technologies 
  • Feed, feed additives and medicine 
  • Water management, irrigation systems 
  • Veterinary services and techniques 
  • Breeding techniques 
  • Agricultural waste management 

Solutions or products needed 

  • pneumatic seeders, reapers, sprayers 
  • grain drying and cleaning technologies, storage equipment and storage quality control systems 
  • innovative water-saving and irrigation technologies, drip and pivot irrigation 
  • slaughtering equipment, digital technologies, herd management technologies, drones needed in animal husbandry 
  • modern breeding techniques, such as artificial insemination, sexing of embryos in dairy cows, and high-quality genetics to increase poultry, beef, dairy, and egg production 
  • hatchery technology and equipment 
  • veterinary services for cattle feed complexes and on-farm processing facilities, advanced veterinary techniques 
  • high quality animal feed and feed additives  
  • new plant varieties for specialty crop production 
  • fish farming equipment and technologies, feed, roe, fry 
  • greenhouse equipment 
  • seeds and livestock genetics 
  • technologies for weather monitoring and forecasting in agriculture 
  • technologies for agricultural waste disposal and waste to energy solutions 

Main exhibitions and events in agriculture 2023

KazAgro-2022, 10.-12.10.2023, Astana

AgroWorld Qazaqstan, 1.-3.11.2023, Almaty

AgriTek/FarmTek, March 2024, Astana

TF activities available for Finnish companies

Team Finland network can support Finnish companies in the activities in Kazakhstan:  

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Altyn Shakirkhanova, Senior Business Advisor / Head of EastCham Branch in Kazakhstan [email protected].

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