Organic food can become priority export niche for Kazakhstan

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ASTANA (TCA) — Organic food can become a priority export niche for Kazakhstan, the country’s Minister for Investment and Development Asset Issekeshev said, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.  

“As the President has said, Kazakhstan must export goods. We think that it is most likely to be agriculture, food, high-quality organic food. In this area, Kazakhstan can take a very serious niche,” the minister said at a media briefing on January 14.

In his opinion, the country has all the possibilities for that.

“We have chemistry, mechanical engineering, we are developing a space program, the IT sector will be developed seriously. But in addition to uranium, metals, and fertilizers, I think that Kazakhstan, as a global player, can occupy a serious niche especially in the area of organic agriculture including vegetable oil, meat, processing of fruit and vegetables,” the minister said.

He added that organic agriculture in Kazakhstan could become one of the major sectors to attract investment.

Late in 2015, Zeinulla Sharipov, head of the Economic Integration Department at Kazakhstan’s Agriculture Ministry said that in 2014, Kazakhstan exported organic products worth about $5 million.    

The Senate of the Kazakh parliament approved the law “On production of organic products” on October 29, 2015.

Kazakhstan’s Deputy Agriculture Minister Yermek Kosherbayev earlier said that there are around 30 producers of organic products in Kazakhstan, most of which are located in the northern Kostanai province.  

Around 300 thousand hectares of land in Kazakhstan is used for organic farming in accordance with international standards. At the same time, there is no exact statistical data as to the number of farms that have international certificates for organic production (some 20 enterprises have such certificates according to various estimates).

According to a parliamentary committee data, organic products account for 0.1 percent of all products consumed in Kazakhstan. Organic products produced in Kazakhstan mainly include grain and oil-bearing crops, as well as cereals, organic vodka and wine. The main obstacle to the organic market development in Kazakhstan was the absence of legislative regulation of organic production.

Sergey Kwan

TCA