08 april 2022

Kintal Islamov: "Any restrictions make our life worse"

Kintal Islamov, Head of Atameken Agro, one of the country's major agricultural holdings, stated his position on quotas set by the government for various agricultural products. According to him, restrictions lead to a loss of markets, and the farmer himself should decide where to send his products: for export or to process them, reports World of NAN.

"We keep hearing "why don't you build plants to process oilseeds, flour mills. Why are we exporting raw materials? If you build factories, the added value will be 60-50%. But if we are offered more in Uzbekistan, Iran or Turkey than the local processors, then the question arises: either we do not work properly, the production is organized incorrectly, or we have inefficient operation ( on processing - the author). And this inefficient work should somehow be covered at the expense of agricultural producers?!" - the speaker expressed his bewilderment.

According to him, agricultural producers are often reproached with large amounts of subsidies, received in the form of support. However, as the agribusinessman assured, they come and go, the costs only grow. So are the costs from the restrictions.

"Because of the sunflower restrictions, we have suffered losses. Everyone talks about subsidies. A lot of subsidies. We received 2.7 billion, while we lost 2 billion on sunflowers and paid 3.5 billion in taxes across the group", - said K. Islamov.

The farmer also spoke openly about the difficult relationship between farmers and processors. He admitted that there are a lot of discussions and sometimes hostile polemics.

"If there weren't, maybe we wouldn't be tested by restrictions. 43% of the country's population lives in the countryside and out of what we earn, we pay our workers' wages. You process, your product becomes more expensive, but we pay salaries to our employees to be able to pay for the product you produce," Islamov said, referring to the processors.

He added that farmers are always ready to negotiate on favorable terms.

"There was a question about the turnover. I will say that under normal conditions some would offer good prices and we would give delayed payments. We would have given as a downline to the processors. We would have said, "Take it now, you will pay us in a month or two. But for some reason we have no dialogue, "- said the farmer.

However, the problems of agricultural producers often go unnoticed, said the head of the agricultural holding.

"In recent years, the situation has gone up, but before that three years we worked in a negative profitability of wheat - minus 2-6%, but at the expense of oilseeds we were making ends meet. At the same time no one spoke about the problems. Everyone was happy that food was cheap.

Today, food is expensive. But year after year, farmers also receive tax increases. Therefore, it is necessary to think about solving the problems as a whole, K. Islamov is sure.

"Restrictive measures are good, but we are losing markets. We limited the export of sunflower and oil. And who benefited? No one! Russian oil is still coming here," he stated.

According to him, products will be cheaper only if farmers produce them using their own money, but if they borrow money, everything will be much more expensive.

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