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concerns about influx of cheaper produce

Kazakhstan: Minister visits greenhouse growers

Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin recently visited the Saryagash district in the Turkestan region, which hosts over 70% of Kazakhstan's greenhouse areas, to discuss critical issues with local greenhouse owners and workers. Earlier this month, strawberry producers raised concerns about the influx of cheaper imported strawberries causing significant financial losses.

Ashirafi Shimbergenov, head of the "Abduraman" farming enterprise, has invested 300 million tenge in cultivating strawberries on 33 hectares, using South Korean technology. His 5.5-hectare greenhouse uses solar light and specialized insulation, cutting construction and production costs by two-thirds compared to traditional greenhouses. This method minimizes the need for external heat, crucial since winter heating can account for up to 70% of expenses.

A special feature of the technology is the use of sunlight and insulation with a special coating, thanks to which the construction and production of greenhouse crops is 3 times cheaper than in conventional industrial greenhouses. External heat sources are needed in a minimal amount. For greenhouse farms, where heating in winter takes up to 70% of all expenses, this is a very significant saving.

As A. Shimbergenov says, in China and Korea this technology is used everywhere, reducing the cost of production of tomatoes, cucumbers and other greenhouse crops. It can also be used at low temperatures. In the future, the head of the peasant farm plans to begin exporting Kazakh strawberries.

Investment subsidies
At a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, the head of the farm noted that he could not receive investment subsidies to expand production. He was also supported by other greenhouse growers, emphasizing that this form of government support is not available to them. For his part, the chairman of the Association of Greenhouse Farms, Daniyar Kaltaev, noted that today's greenhouse growers are no longer the same as before, when the risk of losing crops due to bad weather was very high.

"Greenhouse growers are introducing new technologies, standards, and expanding production. Together we are now preparing a concept for the development of greenhouse farming in the country. But there is a problem that repeats itself from year to year - the sales market. As soon as we start harvesting, the price drops. And we will soon be ready to cover all of Kazakhstan's needs for cucumbers during the season. We need only 2-3 months to sell the harvest in full, without an influx of greenhouse vegetables and berries from neighboring countries into the market," said Daniyar Kaltaev.

Serik Zhumangarin promised to consider all the issues raised with interested government agencies to make appropriate decisions.


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