French Experience Relevant for Kazakh Dairy Development

At a time when, as many oil exporting countries, Kazakhstan has been hit by the depreciation of oil prices, the agricultural sector is one of the most promising sectors for the diversification of the Kazakh economy. Indeed, the potential and the needs of Kazakh agriculture have been enlightened in President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s strategy for 2050 and more precisely the livestock development, which is part of the 100 Concrete Steps to implement the five institutional reforms unveiled in 2015.f

France, with its world-known experience in agriculture, wants to support Kazakhstan in this ambitious move. French and Kazakh relations in the livestock sector have been building up at a high pace over recent years. In the course of the last year, a study financed by the French government, the Livestock Institute (Idele) and Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Agriculture was launched to confirm the orientation of Kazakhstan’s master plan for the development of the dairy sector.

Being at the heart of livestock development worldwide in about 20 countries every year, the French Livestock Institute through the International Technical Cooperation Bureau (BCTI) enthusiastically accepted carrying out this study. Indeed, BCT Ihas all the technical and scientific legitimacy and resources to support this venture and to propose innovative operational solutions for the implementation of the master plan. In fact, BCTI has acted as the international technical assistance office of the French Livestock Confederation (CNE) and has offered a full range of support services to livestock development programs since 2000.

The dairy master plan being a major outcome, revealing both a sound vision for the future and a clear willingness of the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan to dynamize the sector, BCTI was happy to contribute to facing all the challenges ahead. The study, mobilising a team of high-level experts in all relevant fields (husbandry, genetics, veterinary, information systems, fodder production and range management and environmental integration), has yielded a wealth of proposals for further development and cooperation. These proposals will be extensively discussed and will be presented officially in Astana on June 23 in the presence of experts, companies and officials of Kazakhstan and France. This study will pave the way to a broader scope of the huge development potential of Kazakhstan in the dairy sector.

Last but not least, subsequent cooperation will be given life thanks to the commitment of 20 French companies of the sector which are potential providers of genetic products, machinery, equipment, advisory services and training. These companies federated by BCTI have pooled their commercial offers to respond to all the possible demands of the future projects.

The author is a French expert in agricultural economics. After 30 years of working on international agricultural projects with different organizations such as the European Union, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP)and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), he is currently the Director of the International Operations Bureau at the French Livestock Institute.