WEEKLY REVIEW: Kazakhstan to help drought-stricken agrarians, retain bread prices

TARAZ. July 27. KAZINFORM Kazakhstan's agrarians suffer from adverse weather conditions. Drought killed 94 000 hectares of growing wheat. 1st Vice Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov visited the most drought-stricken Kostanay region.

Some of the regions have not started yet the development of rural infrastructure works under the Employment 2020 Programme.  Kazakhstan lacks 5 000 doctors. No increase of women's retiring age is expected yet...

The Head of State Nursultan Nazarbayev received Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan Assylzhan Mamytbekov on Monday (July 23).

Minister Mamytbekov reported on the current situation in the agricultural sector and the process of preparation of the harvesting campaign.

"This agricultural year is hit by drought. Kazakhstan is not the only country in this respect. Russia, the U.S. and Europe are challenged by drought as well. Last year we gathered a rich crop, however, this year will be a tough one for agricultural industry," said President Nazarbayev.

The Kazakh leader stressed it was necessary to intensify the preparation for the harvesting campaign, in particular, it was crucial to work on the problems of provision of petroleum, agricultural equipment and so on.

"It is important to control the level of prices for grain at the inner market. The Government will render all-round assistance to the agricultural sector. In these circumstances it is necessary to work more effectively and in an orderly manner," underlined Nursultan Nazarbayev.

"In general, despite the drought weather conditions, the grain harvest in Kazakhstan will be at an average level. Rich crop is expected in North Kazakhstan region and other districts of Karaganda, Akmola, Kostanay regions," noted A. Mamytbekov.

Following the meeting, the Head of State gave specific instructions on timely running of the harvesting campaign and rendering assistance to local agricultural producers suffering from unfavorable weather conditions.

The same day the enlarged board meeting of the Labor ands Social Protection Ministry debated the results of implementation of the Employment 2020 Programme. According to Minister Abdykalikova, 110 000 participated in the programme, almost 100 000 of them were employed.

On Tuesday, the Government meeting focused on harvest forecasts and bread prices, geological sector development sector until 2030 and innovation development concept until 2020.

"Rainless weather in Kazakhstan brought to crop failure on the area of 94 000 ha," Minister of Agriculture Assylzhan Mamytbekov told. The major drought-affected regions are the southern part of Kostanay, Akmola and southern and eastern parts of Aktobe regions. Kazakhstan is forecast to gather about 12.8 mln tons of grain with yield of 8.1 centners per hectare like in drought-ridden 2010.

As prompt steps the Government suggested to terminate subsidizing transportation costs of grain exporters from August 1, prolong credits provided from the budget for agricultural goods producers, sign memos between the Agriculture Ministry, KazAgro, the Union of Flour Millers and a number of akimats of the regions for the grain deliveries at the fixed price of KZT 28 000 per ton from August 1, 2012 through August 1, 2013, determine scope of supplies.

The Kazakh Ministers have approved a draft Concept of Kazakhstan's Innovative Development till 2020 presented by Kazakh Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev at the government session.  According to him, this Conception was worked out according to the Kazakh President's instruction under the optimization of the program documents in the sphere of innovation development.

Lack of medical professionals was discussed at the session of the Healthcare Ministry of Kazakhstan on July 24. The Secretary of State Mukhtar Kul-Mukhammed noted that complex surgeries conducted Kazakhstani clinics were cheaper than the analogous surgeries abroad. According to him, bone marrow transplantation in Kazakhstan costs USD 100 000, whereas analogous surgery in the western countries costs USD 175 000.

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev received Prime Minister Karim Massimov to discuss issues concerning agriculture, preparations for the winter season and implementation of social modernization programs of Kazakhstan on July 24. "Today the key is to solve agricultural issues. Judging by the data provided, the food and grain situation becomes complicated," the Head of State said. Nursultan Nazarbayev also focused on the preparations for the winter season and implementation of the tasks set in his State-of-the-Nation Address and the article devoted to the country's social modernization, the President's press service said.

The first Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Serik Akhmetov paid a working trip to Kostanai and Auliekol regions stricken by alarming drought that is killing crops. Serik Akhmetov admitted the situation in the region was tough, nonetheless, the crops would be secured due to advanced crop cultivation technologies used in the country. He also said the government was ready to help grain and cattle producers. It was crucial to prevent the rise of prices for bread and drop of livestock number, according to Mr. Akhmetov.

More and more women choose traditional male occupations. Minister of Trade and Social Protection of Population Gulshara Abdykalikova made it public during an online conference at BNEws.kz website on July 27 in Astana. She also touched upon widely discussed problem of higher retirement age for women. At the first stage it can be introduced on a voluntary basis, according to G. Abdykalikova. "But no specific decisions have been made in this respect," she added.

 The opening ceremony of the National Day of Kazakhstan will take place on Saturday (July 28) at the International EXPO-2012 in the port city of Yeosu, South Korea. The exposition is set to be held from May 12 - August 12, 2012. The theme of the EXPO is "The Living Ocean and Coast".

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