ASTANA – The Kazakh Fund for Financial Support of Agriculture (FFSA) started recently implementinga drop irrigation programme under the Agrobusiness-2020 state branch programme. Equipment for 40 projects in aterritory of 440 hectares will be installed this year.
“Kazakhstan has a large area which is suitable for farming and drop irrigation technology can help increase the volume of agricultural production several times. The drop irrigation technology solves the main problem of farming in the state – arid climate,” said head of the FFSA press service Aliya Ensebayeva in a July 21interview.
As of July 16, the fund has already financed 24 projects inthe amount of 135.8 million tenge (US$726,200), which enables theinstallationof drop irrigation equipment on 300 hectares. Thirteenrequests for installation of drop irrigation equipment on 100 hectares are also currently being considered and threecontracts for installation of the equipment on the remaining 40 hectares will be registered soon.
“In 2015,the fund plans to spend 675 million tenge ($US3.6 million). The programme operates in all regions of Kazakhstan and all farmers who want to use drop irrigation can approach the offices of the fund, which are situated in every region of the state,” said Ensebayeva.
The issue of water and the difficulty and expense of acquiring it was reviewed by Kenzhetai farm head Gulnara Saramsakova. The farm raises vegetables and the need to pump waterfrom a river using three or four engines which consume a lot of fuel is a costly proposition.
“We haven’t used drop irrigation technology yet, but I am sure that this technology will help us. The equipment is very expensive and I thought for a long time before I made thedecision to install it. I visited other farms which use the technology. I spoke to farmers and experts, saw the results of their work and I made the corresponding conclusion for myself,” she said in a July 20 interview.
Saramsakova considers this technology to beperfect for Kazakh farmers, because the crop is several times higher and water consumption is several times lower.Kazakh banks don’t give such loans, because they don’t accept farms as pledged assets, butthe fund does. As a result, farmers have the opportunity to get a loan.
Saramsakova is one of the fund’s first loan debtors under the drop irrigation programme.
“Drop irrigation enables us to provide water directly to a plant’s roots constantly using special tubes with microscopic holes. Such plants get water only to the necessary place drop by drop. As a result,the soil around the roots isn’t too wet and isn’t too dry. It has air access. All the above-mentioned factors create optimum conditions for the life activity of plants and saves water,” she said.
Saramsakova secured afive-year FFSA loan inthe amount of 4.45 million tenge (US$23,739) with 14 percent interest. As such, theannual interest rate is not higher than 16.32 percent.
The equipment is being installed in Shariptogai village in the Kokpekty district, East Kazakhstan region. The farm has all the necessary equipment and tools, a heat-insulated warehouse and refrigerationsystem for long-term crop storage.
Saramsakova plans to create five new work places at her farm and is sure implementingthe new technology will make her life easier and her business more profitable. She has a very ambitious development plan.