Why is it important to develop agriculture in Kazakhstan? - The answer to this question is known to some and not to others. The correspondent of the World of NAN tried to find the most accurate explanation.
THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE.
Agriculture - provides people with food, a shortage of which leads to hunger. According to the United Nations in 2020, about 9 percent of the world's population is starving. Hunger negatively affects people's health, especially children, because it stunts their development and growth. Therefore, the development of the agro-industrial complex is always controlled at the state level.
If there are no significant difficulties with hunger in Kazakhstan, it does not mean that everything is smooth in our country. Another problem specialists of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization note is the lack of a healthy diet. Thus, according to their data, the population of Central Asian countries consumes vegetables, legumes and fish below the world average. Also, healthy diets are generally expensive in Central Asian countries, on average five times more expensive than diets that satisfy only energy needs, FAO said in a report. This, in turn, affects public health, according to scientists.
The benefits of a nutritious diet impact not only individuals, but society as a whole," said Chen Fan, FAO's representative for agricultural trade policy, "and the costs of a nutritious diet are borne by society as a whole.
To meet some of these challenges, more attention needs to be paid to nutrition-oriented agriculture. Therefore, it is important to develop agriculture in different directions today.
Doctor of Economic Sciences, First Deputy of People's Democratic Patriotic Party "Auyl" Toleutay Rakhimbekov also added that agriculture is the most important supplier of raw materials for many sectors of manufacturing industry - light, food, chemical, pharmaceutical, etc. Therefore, its development is important not only for the health of society, but also for the economy of the country.
THE SITUATION IN KAZAKHSTAN
According to Toleutai Rakhimbekov, 50% of Kazakhstanis' food basket consists of imported products. Thus far, Kazakhstan lags far behind in the production of vegetables, fruits and meat.
This indicator gives us to understand that Kazakhstan does not have food independence. It appears that if all trade routes are closed for a number of reasons, the people of Kazakhstan will lack half of the products they used to consume. This could affect the health of citizens, and subsequently the public order.
"The coronavirus pandemic has already shown us the urgent need to develop agriculture. In addition, the need for food is increasing every day in the world. That's why I think it's important to reorient Kazakhstan's economy from the export of minerals to the production, processing and export of agricultural products," said the doctor of economic sciences.
According to his estimates, Kazakhstan can produce food in volumes sufficient to provide for several hundred million people.
"Kazakhstan has all opportunities to fully meet the needs of its citizens in food products. With the exception of those types of goods which cannot be produced here due to objective circumstances, such as citrus fruits, tropical fruits and vegetables, olive oil, etc., "- the expert explained.
WHY CAN'T WE PROVIDE FOOD FOR OURSELVES?
Clearly, Kazakhstan has huge potential in the development of agriculture. Large areas of agricultural land - more than 200 million hectares. Huge markets for agricultural products, and literally next door - Russia, China, India, other Southeast Asian countries, Iran, the Arab world. However, the development of agriculture in our country does not move by leaps and bounds.
According to Toleutai Rakhimbekov, the main obstacle to the development of agriculture is the instability of agricultural policy in Kazakhstan. K.K. Tokayev, the head of the state, also spoke about this, when he said that with the arrival of the new team the approaches of state bodies to the development of the industry radically change.
"It is because of this, and not because of the lack of private ownership of agricultural land, not only citizens of Kazakhstan, but also foreign investors are in no hurry to invest in agriculture," Toleutai Rakhimbekov emphasized.
According to Rakhimbekov, the second obstacle is underdevelopment in the structure of the agricultural sector. More precisely, the imperfection of the service sector, infrastructure for procurement, storage, primary processing of products, delivery of agricultural inputs, knowledge dissemination system, information on new species, breeds, technologies, and innovations in legislation.
The third obstacle, according to the speaker, is inaccessibility of state support measures to the vast majority of agricultural producers. "Only 3-5% of farmers have the opportunity to receive subsidies, loans, cheaper fuel, etc.," the expert explains.
Toleutai Rakhimbekov's words make it clear that farming in Kazakhstan is not easy and profitable.
However, as practice shows, there are strong individuals who devote their life to this complex activity. Today, we can only hope that there will be new heroes in the agricultural sector, or that the state will create the most favorable conditions for the development of agriculture.