The main goal of the program is to provide irrigated land with water on an area of 3.5 million hectares. At present, the area of irrigated land is 1.4 million hectares. The implementation of the Plan envisages the restoration of out-of-turn but demanded irrigated lands on an area of 600 thousand hectares and the introduction of new 1.5 million hectares. At the same time, gross output will be 3.7 trillion tenge.
Yevniev reported that in order to develop the irrigation infrastructure further, the Ministry of Agriculture proposed to switch to a financing model with private investment in PPP schemes taking into account the world experience. According to him, this will allow improving the efficiency of land use, increasing the accumulated surface water resources, creating anchor enterprises and expanding the export of agricultural products.
The presented public-private partnership model provides for a private partner that establishes a special financial company to attract investments from international financial organizations, the Unified Accumulative Pensions Fund or second-tier banks under the guarantee of the Ministry of Finance.
“The expected results of the implementation of the program on the restored and re-introduced irrigated lands by 2028 provide for the growth of gross revenues to 3,727 billion tenge, an increase in output by 1 employee to 5.8 million tenge,” reported Yevniev.
The first vice minister also said that the conceptual approaches of this program were worked out with representatives of the business community. Many enterprises and final agricultural producers have expressed interest in the project.
Business representatives have also attended the Government meeting.
Country Director of the Asian Development Bank in Kazakhstan Giovanni Capannelli said that the Bank will soon complete work on a large Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Agriculture on investing up to $2 billion in the sector for 2019-2021. The main component of this memorandum is a focus on supporting the modernization of irrigation sites.
In his turn, Director of Tamas LLP A. Pussurmanov stated that, as an investor, he fully supports this approach, where the private partner, from the start of implementation, will independently organize and implement design and construction activities, and after completion, the operation and maintenance of plant systems providing irrigation water services that will be used for the first time in Kazakhstan. It should be noted that this enterprise, following the results of a survey of irrigated lands on an area of 25 thousand hectares in the city of Arys of the Turkestan region, expressed interest in the project.
Director of Atakent-Agro LLP B. Malimov said that the introduction of new irrigated lands into circulation is a popular and relevant project, the proposed tariffs are acceptable. The lands that the Ministry of Agriculture plans to develop are less watered and show more efficiency than the more watered areas that are saline and located near groundwater, which force them to use additional work.
During the consideration of the issue, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Agriculture Umirzak Shukeyev noted that this program of irrigated land development is very important for the republic. Because today irrigated land makes up 7% of the total cultivated area. Despite this, 40% of the gross agricultural product is produced on this irrigated land. All entrepreneurs understand the benefits of irrigated land: from year to year the number of irrigated lands increases. In 2018 alone, 65 thousand hectares were commissioned. Most of them are in the North Kazakhstan, Aktobe regions. But, according to Shukeyev, this dynamic should be strongly increased.
If within the framework of the Development Plan for 10 years the area of irrigated land will reach 3.5 million hectares, then in the future 70% of agricultural products will be grown on these lands. The increase in the area will allow agricultural producers not to depend on weather conditions.
Akims of Almaty region A. Batalov, Aktobe – B. Saparbayev, Mangistau – Y. Tugzhanov reported on the development of irrigated agriculture in the regions.
As a result of consideration of the issue, Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev noted that the draft Plan was agreed with all interested ministries and regions. Conceptual approaches to its implementation have received support from the private sector.
In general, the plan is designed to supply 3.5 million hectares with irrigation water, which will give gross output increase of 4.5 times and create 300 thousand jobs. Ministry of Agriculture together with the interested state bodies and akims was instructed to provide quality and timely implementation of the plan’s measures.