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Thursday 13 May 2021

Kazakhstan Is Losing its Food Independence


  4 forum posts

NUR-SULTAN / ex ASTANA (Satrapia) — Kazakhstan is almost entirely dependent on imports and is losing its food independence, said Senator Akhylbek Kurishbayev.

Senator Akhylbek Kurishbayev

At a Senate meeting on Thursday, Kurishbayev said:

A critical situation has been created in the seed industry and breeding technology, the resolution of which cannot be postponed. The quality of plant seed is falling, which means that every year the harvest of farmers is getting worse and worse. Almost 70% of varieties and hybrids, and for some crops — and more — are imported from abroad. This means that we almost completely depend on import supplies and lose our food independence. Moreover, most of imported seeds are not adapted to our soil and climatic conditions.

Senator Kurishbayev stressed that the state subsidies allocated are spent on making foreign seeds cheaper, while domestic agricultural scientists have not yet received funding for their work in 2021.

In this regard, the senator proposed to stimulate the creation of local high-yield and stress-resistant varieties and hybrids of crops and to connect domestic agricultural research institutes and universities, biotechnology centres, as well as leading foreign scientists to this process. Kurishbayev said:

It is necessary to strengthen the legislative and regulatory framework for breeding and seed production in terms of copyright protection, registration of breeding achievements, application of modern certification methods, updating of standards and scientific and methodological base. It is also important to assist on strengthening material and laboratory base of subjects of breeding and seed production, to organize National Bank of Genetic Resources of agricultural plants in the country.

In addition, the Senator proposed to strengthen the state support to the seed breeding system and revise the mechanism for subsidizing domestic varieties.

  Forum posts

  • In Kazakhstan, agriculture remains a small sector of the economy. The contribution of agriculture to GDP is less than 10% - it was recorded as 6.7% and occupied only 20% of the labour force. At the same time, more than 70% of the country’s land is devoted to crop and livestock production. Compared to North America, a relatively small percentage of land is used for crop production, with a higher percentage in the north. 70% of agricultural land is permanent pasture.

  • The great food shortage is on the way. Everywhere. China normally has a 30% food deficit. Last year, China had a 70% food deficit before the wheat blight. I am not sure that the world has that much extra food to spare.

  • Three months ago I still expected things to get better, but now I fear the worst. We can cut back on some expenses, but for food is difficult.

  • Worldwide shortages are causing fears of inflation, food prices are skyrocketing, the media says all you have to do is eat bugs.

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