Ukrainian plans for a breeding farm in Kazakhstan

23-03-2021 | |
Swine farm that is about to be taken in use in Kazakhstan. - Photo: Friedrich-Wilhelm Busse
Swine farm that is about to be taken in use in Kazakhstan. - Photo: Friedrich-Wilhelm Busse

Ukrainian pig company KSG Agro has announced plans to build a breeding complex for 50,000 pigs, at an investment cost of € 30 million, the company said in a statement late February.

The new production complex will contain a breeding unit, farm, and feed mill. As explained by Sergey Kasyanov, chairman of KSG Agro, the parties have begun working on the roadmap for the project.

Kasyanov said, “The project’s commercial potential is associated with the opportunity to export products, in particular, due to the geographical proximity to China and the absence of African Swine Fever outbreaks in Kazakhstan.”

KSG Аgro is one of the largest vertically integrated agricultural companies in Ukraine, focused primarily on pork and grain production. The holding’s shares are listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. KSG Agro is a member of the European Business Association.

Swiss support for pig farm plans

Support will be provided by the Swiss company KS Genetics Switzerland. At a meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital Almaty with the regional authorities, Ticino Filippo Lombardi, chairman of the Swiss delegation, said that the project’s ultimate goal is to provide local farmers with non-GMO pigs for guaranteed productivity.

Lombardi said, “We work with genetics, but inside nature, not outside it. These are natural genetics. We are ready to share our technologies in the livestock field with local farmers.”

Pork production in a Muslim country

Despite being predominantly a Muslim country, Kazakhstan has been increasing pork production in recent years. Since 2018, the domestic pork consumption has increased by 13%, according to estimations by the Kazakh Pig Farmers Association. Currently, it is believed that a third of the country’s population consumes pork.

Recently, speaking at a press conference, Boris Mitin, chairman of the Pig Farmers Association, complained that the state aid to the pig industry has shrunk from 2 billion tenges in 2018 (US$ 4.6 million) to 1 billion tenges in 2020 (US$ 2.3 million). Moreover, all payments were put to a halt in the 2nd half of 2020.

Mitin added that the state aid was one of the main reasons behind the production growth of the Kazakh pig industry.

Establishing pork exports from Kazakhstan

In 2019, the Kazakh Union of Pig Farmers announced plans to establish pork export of around 100,000 tonnes per year and double the domestic pork production. In terms of the pig industry development, Kazakhstan could adhere to the so-called “Indian model.” There, beef is shipped worldwide, even though the domestic population is not consuming beef on religious grounds.

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Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern Europe correspondent