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Kazakhstan planning to reduce foodstuffs imports

17 may 2014, 19:55
Assylzhan Mamytbekov. Photo courtesy of ortcom.kz
Assylzhan Mamytbekov. Photo courtesy of ortcom.kz

Kazakhstan has decided to significantly reduce foodstuffs imports by 2020, the country’s Agriculture Minister Assylzhan Mamytbekov told a briefing at the President’s Service for Public Communications today.

According to the Minister, “imports of confectionary stand at 18% of all the foodstuffs imports, followed by dairy products (13%), sugar (8%), poultry (6%), vegetable and fruit preserves (6%), tea (5%), oil and sausages (3% each)”.

“The imports figures are posing a certain threat to domestic processing enterprises (…) The Government has placed a greater emphasis on development of processing enterprises to stimulate production of the mentioned foodstuffs (…) we expect the imports figure to significantly decrease by 2020”, Mr. Mamytbekov said.

In line with the Agribusiness-2020 Program, the share of imported dairy products should be slashed from the current 31% [of all dairy products consumed] to 10%, with the share of imported meat decreasing from 55% to 10%, that of imported vegetable and fruit preserves falling to 20%, and the share of confectionary being slashed from 56% to 44%.

The Minister added that the Program envisages boost of foodstuffs exports. Besides, the Ministry has developed a public awareness campaign to encourage people to consume domestically produced foodstuffs. “Many consumers don’t know the difference between pasteurized and sterilized milk, between chilled and frozen meat (…) people tend to opt for widely advertised products rather than natural products”, the Minister summarized.

Earlier the country’s media reported that in 2013 Kazakhstan imported foodstuffs worth $4 billion, 5% up against 2012.

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