ASTANA – Astana International Forum (AIF) panel session gathered international experts to delve into the impact of global supply chain disruption on food security. The June 8 discussion meeting outlined Kazakhstan’s huge potential in overcoming breakdowns in supply chains and ensuring food security in the region.
“There is no other country like Kazakhstan in the world. Its potential is enormous. Think about logistics from Kazakhstan to Europe and China: no charging and very cheap electricity. The accessibility of food from Kazakhstan to the world has a very big potential. Let’s fill the world with Kazakh food,” said Chairman of the Israel-Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Michael Roee.
Darren Siekman, Vice President of Valmont Industries, the US-based manufacturer of linear irrigation equipment, said that “there is nothing but possibilities and growth in Kazakhstan. There are very many ambitious goals in the country.” He emphasized that now Kazakhstan brings more and more land into production.
Kazakhstan is ready to play a key role in ensuring food security in the region.
“The annual production of 20 million tons of grain of the highest quality allows us to meet the needs of Central Asia, Afghanistan. There is an increase in wheat supplies to Europe, Iran, and China. In the next two to three years, it is planned to build nearly 100 dairy farms in Kazakhstan,” said Kazakh Minister of Agriculture Yerbol Karashukeyev.
“One of the key priorities is the conservation of water resources. The country is stimulated to use water-saving technologies, including the sprinkler irrigation method or the drip irrigation,” he added.
Karashukeyev also shared the government’s plan to fund $1 billion for farms, fishing, and other agricultural enterprises. According to him, food manufacturing processes in the country have recently resulted in 25 percent growth in agriculture.
European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski shared perspectives of the European Union regarding the global supply chain disruption.
“In Europe, we have recently seen tragic floods in Italy and droughts in the Mediterranean. These impacts lead to our long-term challenge to provide nutritious food to a growing world population, which the United Nations expects to reach 9.7 billion by 2050,” he said.
According to the experts, international cooperation is more welcome than ever before, particularly in research and innovation projects in food security. Resilience, productivity, and sustainability remain the cornerstone of agriculture policy development.