Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan - plans and prospects
The planting campaign in Kazakhstan is almost completed. At the same time, the weather conditions, which were established in the country, carry hopes to receive good sprouts and high quality harvest. Despite all difficulties, the planted areas did not reduce in the current year. Quite stable financial assistance from the Government largely influenced the situation. Saparkhan Omarov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, kindly agreed to inform us what programs of the financial support of agriculture work in the current year, and what preliminary plans for the field works the Government of Kazakhstan has.
- Saparkhan Kesikbaevich, I would like to talk about the spring crops planting campaign in 2014. What were the major changes in the structure of planted areas?
According to preliminary data of the oblast departments of agriculture, in the current year agrarians plan to plant agricultural crops throughout the areas of 21.8 mln ha, an increase of 313 thsd ha (or 1.5%) compared with 2013. The planted areas of spring crops will total 19 mln ha.
Grain crops planted areas will occupy 15.9 mln ha, including 12.8 mln ha of wheat, down 319 thsd ha compared with the level of 2013 (down 2.5%).
The planted areas of maize grain will increase by 7.2 thsd ha, the areas under feed grains, groats and pulses - up 303.5 thsd ha.
The planted areas of oilseeds will reach 2 mln ha, up 36 thsd ha compared with last year, forage crops - 3.4 mln ha (up 277 thsd ha).
Generally, the planned planted areas of agricultural crops exceeds the index provided by the memorandum signed by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, oblast administrations, JSC KazAgro National Management Holding, and JSC KazAgroInnovation, by nearly 346 thsd ha, including oilseeds – up 139.4 thsd ha, forage crops – up 127.5 thsd ha, melons and gourds - 19.6 thsd ha.
- Due to active development of the animal husbandry in Kazakhstan, does the Ministry plan to increase the planted areas of industrial crops?
According to preliminary data of the oblast departments of agriculture, in 2014 agrarians will plant forage crops throughout the areas of nearly 3.4 mln ha, up 276.7 thsd ha, or 9% compared with 2013 level. At the same time, silage crops will cover 142.9 thsd ha, annual grasses - 541.8 thsd ha, perennial grasses - 2.7 mln ha, taking into account the previous years` areas.
In accordance with the program Agribusiness-2020, by 2020 it is planned to increase the planted areas of forage crops to the level of 10.2 mln ha, taking into account using of amelioration lands through development of fallow areas and wastelands. At the same time, the planted areas of annual grasses are planned to expand to 1.7 mln ha, perennial grasses - 8 mln ha, silage crops - 0.5 mln ha.
- What weather conditions did develop through the planted areas of the main grain crops? How did they affect the field works?
The forecast of the optimum planting terms for spring grains takes into account not only the autumn soil moisture reserves, conditions of moisture accumulation in the autumn-winter period, but also the expected weather conditions as of the beginning of the spring field works. The conditions for the soil drying to high-plastic terms and the optimum planting terms are largely determined by the temperature terms in the spring.
The optimum terms for beginning of the field works and planting of early spring crops often meet the period the soil reaches high-plastic conditions.
According to the National Hydrometeorological Service of the Republic of Kazakhstan, in the autumn and winter periods the level of precipitations exceeded the standards in Aktobe, Karagandy and North Kazakhstan oblasts, and within the standard range – in the remaining part of the country.
The snow cover depth exceeded the standards in North Kazakhstan, Akmola, Karagandy, Kostanay, Pavlodar, Aktobe, West Kazakhstan and Almaty oblasts, and within the standard range – in East Kazakhstan, Jambyl and South Kazakhstan oblasts.
Thus, in most agricultural territories of the northern, central and eastern regions of the country the reserves of soil moisture significantly increased in the spring, due to snowmelt processes.
The underground water storage calculations for the period of spring field works show the optimum moisture reserves in the meter layer of soil are expected in North Kazakhstan, Akmola and Kostanay oblasts, the satisfactory - in West Kazakhstan, Aktobe, Pavlodar and Karagandy oblasts, below standard - only in East Kazakhstan oblast.
In May 2014 the average monthly air temperature varied within the standard in Pavlodar and East Kazakhstan oblasts, above standard - the remaining territory of the country.
In May the precipitations exceeded the standard level in North Kazakhstan and northern raions of Kostanay oblasts, within the standard - in Akmola, northern raions of Western Kazakhstan, Aktobe, some areas of Kostanay, Pavlodar, mountainous and submontane raions of East Kazakhstan, Almaty, Jambyl and South Kazakhstan oblasts, less than standard - the remaining territory of the country.
Such meteorological conditions will cause intensive moisture evaporation from the soil surface, which requires choosing of the optimum planting terms. It is the important condition for increasing the yield of grain crops in the system of agrotechnical measures.
According to our calculations, western oblasts reached the high-plastic soil condition during the second or third decade of April 2014. In the third decade of April and in early May - Akmola, Kostanay, Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan and some areas of Karagandy oblasts. In the second and third decades of April 2014 - Karagandy and East Kazakhstan oblasts.
Therefore, the optimum terms of spring crops planting are forecasted in two western oblasts in late April - early May, in four northern oblasts – in the second or third decades of May, in some raions - in early May. In Karagandy and East Kazakhstan oblasts the terms begin in the first and second decade of May.
- What was the share of provision of agrarians with fertilizers, plant protecting agents, machinery, seeds as of the beginning of the planting campaign?
According to data from the oblasts, the provision of agrarians with seeds total 99.3% of demand (2054 thsd tonnes, with the need of 2068.5 thsd tonnes).
The deficit of seeds is expected to reach 16.9 thsd tonnes (in Aktobe oblast – 10.1 thsd tonnes, in West Kazakhstan oblast - 6.8 thsd tonnes), which will be compensated by the oblast or state resources.
National company Food Contract Corporation JSC realizes distribution of seeds to agricultural producers in the form of seed credit.
Needs of the agricultural machinery fleet of the Republic in diesel fuel for the spring field works in 2014 in terms of the planned areas total nearly 360 thsd tonnes.
The Government approved the selling price for cheapened diesel fuel from petroleum processing plants for the agricultural machinery fleet in the period of spring field works of 2014 at 98312 KZT/t (81.6 KZT/l). Taking into account the costs of operators, the average price of diesel fuel for regions totals nearly 95 KZT/liter.
In the current year more than 3 thsd high-performance sowing machines participates in the planting campaign, which allows planting grains throughout nearly 60% of the planted areas in the optimum agrotechnical terms.
In previous years the annual subsidy sums for herbicides totaled nearly 1 bln KZT, it failed to meet the necessary requirements of the agricultural machinery fleet. At the same time, the subsidy assistance covered the herbicides of domestic production only, which are oriented against weeds of grain crops, but the production of herbicides required for usage in rice, oilseeds and other crops planted areas, was absent.
In 2013 in terms of reduction of the cost of herbicides of domestic production to 50%, the Government subsidized the import herbicides to 30%, which allowed covering the herbicides against weeds of rice, oilseeds and other crops.
The local budgets allocated 10 bln KZT to reduce the price of herbicides in 2014-2016 period. The planted areas treated with the cheapened herbicides total 35% of the general planted areas of agricultural crops in the country.
The reporting activities will continue until 2020 within frames of the program for development of the agro-industrial complex of the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2013-2020 period "Agribusiness-2020".
It is planned to allocate the following funds to reach these purposes: in 2017 - 17.6 bln KZT, in 2018 - 17.7 bln KZT, in 2019 - 17.9 bln KZT, and in 2020 - 18 bln KZT.
Also, in 2013 the Government allocated 150 mln KZT to reduce the cost of biological agents (entomophages) and biological preparations intended for processing of agricultural crops to protect the plants. The planted areas treated with the cheapened biological agents totaled 28.8% of the general planted areas of agricultural crops in South Kazakhstan oblast.
The local budget allocated 150 mln KZT for 2014-2016 period on subsidy assistance of the program.
It is planned to allocate the funds for cheapening of biological agents and biological preparations against the pests of cotton seed: 2017 - 449.8 mln KZT, in 2018 - 466.1 mln KZT, in 2019 - 474.6 mln KZT, and in 2020 - 476.8 mln KZT.
- I would like to get back to the subject of animal husbandry. What are the main programs of the Government to maintain and increase the cattle livestock?
Since 2002 the Government supports farmers engaged in the animal husbandry to reduce the cost of purchased pedigreed-stock products. Annually, the subsidies standards continue increasing. In particular, since the current year the standards for subsidizing the cost of purchased breeding cattle will increase to 154 thsd KZT per head. Thus, the Government created the required conditions for stimulation of farmers to purchase highly-productive breeding cattle from domestic breeders only.
Since 2006 every year the Government supports farmers in order to improve productivity and qualitative indices of livestock products. For example, annually commercial dairy farms receive subsidies from the budget for each kilogram of produced and sold milk. Also, there are provided subsidies for produced and sold beef by feeding stations and farming enterprises.
Since 2012 the Government introduced a new line of the state support for the farmers engaged in cattle breeding, for realization of selection and breeding works with breeding stock. Since the current year the subsidy standards increased from 14 thsd KZT to 20 thsd KZT per head of breeding stock.
In order to stimulate farming enterprises - members of the program Sybaga, since the current year the Government introduced a new line – subsidizing of male calves selling to feeding stations at the sum of 15 thsd KZT per head.
Also, the Government supporting measures are aimed at qualitative improvement of the breeding stock of private farms. In particular, the authorities subsidize the costs for maintaining the breeding bulls used for pedigree conversion of the breeding stock of cattle herds in public herds, at the sum of 104 thsd KZT per head. The Government provides full compensation of the cost of services for artificial insemination of cows at private farms.
In addition, there are developed and implemented the programs for crediting of farmers to realize new investment projects on construction of commodity dairy farms, multiplying farms, feeding stations, commodity and family farms, for purchasing of commercial-grade and pedigree livestock, for working capital financing at the cheapened rate.
The program Sybaga received more active implementation among farmers, it is aimed at financing of small- and medium-scale farmers for the purchase of breeding stock cattle. Taking into account the positive experience on realization of the program Sybaga in the current year, there are developed and approved the similar programs of concessionary financing for sheep raising, horse raising and dairy cattle breeding.
To date within frames of expanding the legislation in the field of the agro-industrial complex in 2015, there is provided introduction of subsidizing standards on the interest rates on lease purchasing of breeding animals.
- I would like to know whether there will be any changes in the policy of subsidizing of the agro-industrial complex of the country? Will the authorities involve new programs, and in what sphere of agribusiness?
To date the Government supports almost the whole production cycle of major agricultural crops. The republican budget supports the production of priority agricultural crops, selection, crop variety testing and seed production, plant protection and quarantine, cheapening the cost of diesel fuel, mineral fertilizers, seed protectants, herbicides, services for delivery of irrigation water.
In the current year the Government allocates 71.2 bln KZT to subsidize the plant growing industry in all directions, as well as 3.5 bln KZT to purchase grain reserves to the state resources via spring and summer financing. In particular, subsidizing of production of the priority crops totals 34.3 bln KZT; initiation and cultivation of fruit crops and grapes - 3.2 bln KZT; cheapening the cost of mineral fertilizers and herbicides - 26 bln KZT; delivery of irrigation water - 1.6 bln KZT; estimation of the qualitative indices of cotton seed - 0.5 bln KZT; development of seed production - 2.6 bln KZT; cheapening the interest rates for leasing of agricultural machinery - 3 bln KZT.
As for the new programs, in order to stimulate investment flows, lowering the capital intensity and payback periods of investment projects within the program on development of the agro-industrial complex for 2013-2020 period "Agribusiness-2020", the Ministry of Agriculture provides the new financial instrument to support the agricultural sector - investment subsidies.
The reporting measure of state support is to partially compensate the expenses in terms of the investments aimed at foundation of new or expansion of the existing production capacities. Thus, in the plant growing sector there is provided investment subsidizing for establishing of intensive apple orchard, foundation of new and expansion of the existing greenhouse complexes, foundation of new and expansion of the existing vegetable stores, foundation of new and expansion of the existing granaries.
Interviewed by Irina Grytsai
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