The South Kazakhstan region has the potential to become a major fruit and vegetable producer, President Nursultan Nazarbayev said during a visit to the region on March 27, according to the Akorda press service.
The President noted that the government places great importance on the development of the South Kazakhstan region, which has the largest population of all of Kazakhstan’s regions.
“The region has all the conditions necessary to become a real fruit and vegetable ‘factory.’ We have made considerable investments and are already receiving a good return. Modern technologies are being introduced and this is ramping up our production. In five years, the volume of agricultural goods produced has increased by 2.5 times, resulting in the harvest being partially exported. Furthermore, animal husbandry is rapidly developing. We will keep up our current efforts,” the President said at a media briefing at the end of his working trip.
The President drew attention to the importance of developing the agro-industrial complex.
“We are taking the necessary efforts to make Shymkent a city of over one million. It is growing and a new centre is being built. Regional infrastructure is also improving. The region is a crossing point for roads, railway lines and gas pipelines. All of this promotes business development and the overall well-being of the population,” Nazarbayev emphasised.
In Shymkent, the President took part in an event titled Mereili Maqsatymyz – Mangilik El(Our Joyous Goal – an Eternal Nation). While addressing the gathering, the President congratulated all Kazakhs on the Nauryz spring holiday.
“In this region, the celebrations begin nine days before the main event. The festivities start with the dedication of each day to values and good deeds, making Nauryz a true holiday of kindness. This is a good example for other Kazakhstan’s other regions,” Nazarbayev said.
The President recalled the measures being taken in state education, health and youth policy.
“Today, there are a large number of young people living in our nation. We are building new kindergartens, schools and universities so our young people can get a good education. Preschool education, thanks to the Balapan programme, is now accessible to 70 percent of children in the region. In addition, the level of maternal and child mortality decreased by 20 percent. Due to the fact that each region pays great attention to advances in medicine, the average life expectancy in Kazakhstan has reached 70. I think this is a great success and an indicator of the development of our country,” he said.
Nazarbayev also stressed that despite the global economic crisis, Kazakhstan is continuing to develop itself, pointing to the high socio-economic indicators in the region.
“The South Kazakhstan region is home to about 17 percent of the total population [of the country]. The region has major railways, the Western Europe – Western China Highway and the newly reconstructed airport. Over the years, the area has become internationally known for its uranium production. Today, the region’s mines provide 35 percent of the global uranium production, delivering [the country] to first place,” he said.
In Shymkent, the President also visited the National Tennis Centre, where he met with top athletes from the region, including winners of international competitions. Nazarbayev wished the athletes success.