ASTANA – Seven milk farms capable of producing 10,000 tonnes of product will be constructed in different districts of the North Kazakhstan region to provide job opportunities, satisfy local demand and boost exports.
“Milk production in the region in 2017 reached 546,100 tonnes, increasing by 3.9 percent compared to 2016. The plan for 2018 is to boost production by 3 percent; in other words, to produce 563,000 tonnes,” said regional agriculture department head Kairat Omarov.
To achieve higher production, the farms will be built in the Akkayin, Kyzylzhar, Mamlyutka, Taiynsha and Zhumabayev districts. The 1,500 additional cows will supplement those at existing dairy farms, including four launched the previous year.
Officials seek to ensure there is one farm in each of the 13 districts, creating employment opportunities throughout the year and providing sufficient input for milk processing plants.
The challenge, however, is in acquiring dairy cattle. The available animals will probably not suffice in satisfying the current demand, which increases year to year. Moreover, production levels require imported pedigree cattle, which produce more milk than domestic breeds. Although state subsidies partially cover the cost of imported cattle, it is still a heavy burden for farmers.
“The average cost of one cow varies from 840,000 to 920,000 tenge (US$2,700-$2,900); however, the subsidy covers only one-fifth of the cost, as it is 100,000 tenge (US$315) for a cow from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) or Europe and 225,000 tenge (US$700) for one from Australia, Canada or the U.S. We have applied to the Agriculture Ministry several times asking to increase subsidies,” said Omarov.
Kazakhstan produced 5.4 million tonnes of milk in 2017. The North Kazakhstan region contributed 10 percent of the overall volume, trailing the Astana, East Kazakhstan and South Kazakhstan regions, with each producing more than 700,000 tonnes. The region also processed 255,000 tonnes, a quarter of all milk processed in the country.