The President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, this year instructed to focus on supporting small and medium-sized businesses. A World of NAN journalist decided to ask the country's Ministry of Agriculture whether they would support SMEs in the agricultural sector.
Our civil servants like to answer questions in a vague way. So, on the direct question - whether the Ministry of Agriculture will work out development programs for SMEs, the agency replied as follows: "The Ministry has created all the necessary conditions for the development of agribusiness. According to the instructions of the President, strategic documents such as the Concept of the agroindustrial complex development for 2021-2025 has been worked out and adopted, which is a document that defines the vision of the agroindustrial complex development in future...".
The officials let us know with this that the department is not going to create separate programs for the support of small and medium business. They say that there is a program for the development of the agro-industrial complex and it is enough. Funding from this program is mainly spent on subsidies. But who gets these subsidies? Agro giants that feed the right people? Experts have repeatedly said that subsidies do not reach small farms, because there is red tape and other difficulties in the system. That is why small and medium-sized businesses in agriculture have nothing or receive "scraps".
HOW TO SUPPORT FARMERS IN A COUNTRY THAT CARES ABOUT THE INDUSTRY.
You do not have to go far to find a good example of SME support in agriculture. For example Russia is far ahead in this aspect. And the authorities there put the main emphasis on the support of beginning farmers. There is even a separate grant, which is called "For beginning farmers". This grant is available to an entrepreneur who has registered a farm within the last two years. The maximum size of the grant is THREE MILLION RUBLES (16 mln. 800 thousand tg at current exchange rate) for cattle breeding. For other activities - not more than 1.5 million rubles. And the farmer himself chooses where to invest the money, of course as part of an agricultural project.
There is also "Agrostartap" grant, it is aimed at those who have just come into the industry. Within the contest the best business plan is chosen. Personal farms can also take part, but after receiving the money a person must register the farm. And now pay attention, the amount a beginning farmer can get up to THREE MILLION RUBLES and four in a cooperative. Naturally, the state will control the activities of the farm, the farmer must insure everything and conduct his business honestly. But just think about it, the state does not give such money in the form of subsidies or loans, but just to keep you working.
But that's not all! From political tribunes, the authorities of Kazakhstan once mentioned the development of family farms, but never got beyond big words. In Russia, everything is already ready. There, the family cattle farm, which has worked for more than two years, can receive up to 30 billion rubles (168 billion tenge). A staggering amount of money, eh? And this is a grant! Not the subsidy you have to wait for after you buy the cattle or the interest rates on loans. Do you understand? Yes, there are a lot of restrictions, the key one being that you have to work in the industry. With these tools, the government helps honest farmers grow, and a cattle farmer is eligible for a second grant after three years.
All of these tools help both beginning farmers and working farmers. At the same time the government does not want to limit the development of SMEs, but on the contrary, pushes them to grow. Our northern neighbor has a clear understanding of how to develop the industry and involve more and more people in it. That's why today Russia "feeds" us with dairy products, sausages, poultry, canned meat and many other products. We can only hope that our neighbor to the north will be all right, and we will not be left without food. Or our officials should think a little bit and stop working under the existing system.