Kazakhstan is on track to become a leader in the use of modern agricultural technologies thanks to local pioneer and investor, Yerkin Tatishev and the Kusto Group. Tatishev is realizing his lifelong dream of bringing his country into the 21stcentury using cutting edge technologies and international know-how. With wide experience in the manufacturing and mining industries, Tatishev, together with the Kusto Group, has turned its energies to agriculture. The outlook for the beef and dairy industries in Kazakhstan and neighboring Ukraine has never looked better. The group has recently launched a new initiative, known as Kazseed, to develop high quality seeds specifically for the local market.
Investment in the Local Agro-Beef Industry
As part of their commitment to develop local industries, Tatishev and the Kusto Group, in partnership with the government, invest heavily in agriculture. Their focus is the agro-beef industry as it has enormous potential to create jobs, improve the economy, and eventually increase the role Kazakhstan plays in the world beef market.
The government allocated some 80 percent of all Kazakhstan’s land to agriculture, while the Kusto Group built and nurtured the local industry with a company known as Kazbeef. Thanks in large part to the Kusto Group and its Kazbeef initiatives, Kazakhstan’s agro-beef industry has rapidly grown and become a significant player in regional beef production. Today, Kazbeef’s herd in Kazakhstan is 20,000 strong.
The Kusto Group’s agricultural initiatives do not stop there. In an effort to expand the scope of their operation and role in the agriculture business, Kusto Group’s Agro branch has begun construction of a complex of dairy facilities in Lypne, Ukraine. This new project will focus around a 600-herd of free-range milk cows, and the facilities needed to process and commercialize the milk into consumer products. In addition, plans are already in the works to buy Holstein cows; considered la crème de la crème in the dairy industry. The facility will also have space for expansion of breeding programs, birthing and non-dairy industry development. As in all the company’s endeavors, and projects lead by Tatishev, this facility is expected to be equipped with state of the art technology that will allow it to penetrate the industry successfully, create jobs and strengthen the local economy. The project is to be operational by summer 2019.
Yerkin Tatishev is committed to all aspects and stages of the agro-beef industry and is dedicated to bringing cutting edge technology to every phase of the production, from genetics to seeds to irrigation equipment and technology all the way through to eventual harvests. This goes hand in hand with recognizing and targeting the consumer market for beef products from Kazakhstan, which Tatishev has recognized as the local consumers, as well as Russian and Chinese markets.
One significant area of development for Kazbeef is creating a smart system of traceability for livestock products, allowing the end consumer to trace the product they purchase through all stages of production, processing and distribution. This will be done using a QR code on the packaging, and Kazbeef is proud to be spearheading this tool in Kazakhstan.
Specialized breeding and the introduction of livestock from all over the world is another innovation for the area. Holstein cows for milk production, and Angus and Hereford cattle for beef production, are being imported and subsequently bred locally.
Packing technologies that embrace green approaches such as wind power on feedlots are being introduced by the company. Smart irrigation systems manage water consumption and ensure healthy crops, even with extreme fluctuations in weather and precipitation.
Development of non-GMO seeds by Kazseed specifically for the local climate will mean better, richer crops and will translate into an enhanced end-product. The commitment to non-genetically engineered seeds is an interesting strategy and points to a forward-looking approach. It recognizes the market need for high quality products and integrates innovation that is fully tested and proven to be effective.
Kazseed – The New Technology of Seed Development by Kusto
In partnership with Baumgartner Agriculture Science and Service (BASS), one of the leading non-GMO seed producers in the world, the Kusto group has established a new company called Kazseed. Tatishev is proud to announce that farmers will finally get access to world class seeds, specially selected for the climatic and environmental needs of Kazakhstan.
Kazseed will continue the Kusto Group’s ongoing efforts to introduce cutting-edge technology across their day-to-day operations. The passion is demonstrated by Kusto’s $25m investment in this project. High quality technology has the power to change people’s lives for the better and Kusto is committed to ensure this is the case for Kazakh agriculture.
Tatishev, speaking at a recent conference, remarked, “I am also pleased to see the Kazakhstan government’s support and involvement. This project is being developed in close cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture to produce fodder seeds for the benefit of the entire country’s agriculture sector and beyond. It is essential that businesses and companies work together in the interest of society’s wellbeing. It is an attitude I have adopted throughout my career and my door is always open to partnership with like-minded institutions in the many countries in which we operate.”
Kazseed has the potential to significantly boost employment and prosperity in local communities in Kazakhstan. Businesses have a responsibility to uphold these values and they are obviously a core component of the Kusto Group’s thinking.