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Kazakhstan developing a program to stabilize food prices

04 may 2011, 11:05
0
Assylzhan Mamytbekov. Photo courtesy of focus.kz
Assylzhan Mamytbekov. Photo courtesy of focus.kz
Kazakhstan’s Government will be taking measures to stabilize food prices, Assylzhan Mamytbekov, Agriculture Minister, said.

“We are working on a program to stabilize food prices as instructed by Head of State”, A. Mamytbekov told journalists on the sidelines of the IV Economic Forum in Astana.

He stressed that “for the Government it is of paramount importance not to allow wild price hikes”.

However, the Minister pointed out that “given the openness of the economy, prices cannot be bridled forcibly”, Novosti Kazakhstan quoted him as saying.

“If we do, we will harm producers (…) they will be losing part of their revenues. Global prices are growing, if we start curbing their growth locally, producers will cut down production outputs, causing shortages (…) we’ve been there, done that”, he said.

As of the end of April annual inflation made up 4.2%. Since the start of the year prices for foodstuffs have grown by 7.1%, Interfax – Kazakhstan reported yesterday.

Yesterday, May 4, when speaking at the IV Economic Forum in Astana, President Nazarbayev said that growing prices for commodities, including energy resources, coupled with growing global consumption and natural disasters have been pushing prices for foodstuffs upwards. Citing the World Bank, President stressed that starting from early 2011 food prices have grown by 36%. According to him, as a result low-income countries have faced the problem of financing food imports. Since last June the number of people living below the poverty line has increased by 44 million.

“Consequences of food crises are social tensions and political upheavals throughout the world (…) it is of paramount importance to ensure food security at regional and global levels. Inter-state cooperation and concerted actions are needed”, President Nazarbayev said.

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