SHYMKENT – South Kazakhstan businessman Timur Sarsenbayev intends to grow truffles in South Kazakhstan. The precious mushrooms require special conditions, which Sarsenbayev believes exist in the region’s Tulkubas district.
According to KazGidroMet meteorological specialists, the climate of Tulkubas district is perfect for the truffle business. Soil pH levels range from 7 to 7.2, optimal for the cultivation of these underground ascomycetes. The pilot project will require 12 million tenge (about $78,000), part of which will come as soft loans. Tiny spores of some trial varieties of the mushrooms will be purchased in France.
The service centre for South Kazakhstan region entrepreneurs helped Sarsenbayev with the necessary documentation and funding and the Tulkubas district akimat allocated him five hectares of land on which to grow his truffles. Sarsenbayev hopes in five years to collect 90-100 kilogrammes of mushrooms from each hectare of land and sell them at a price comparable to the cost of gold. The entrepreneur intends to begin by exporting the products to the countries of the Customs Union.