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By 2030, Kazakhstan plans to grow about 270 thousand tons of marketable fish per year – Magzum Mirzagaliyev

Tuesday, 29 December 2020, 11:49:17

At the government session chaired by the Prime Minister Askar Mamin, the issue of the development of the country's fisheries was considered. The Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliyev spoke about the current state and prospects of the industry in his report.

According to the minister, the ministry has developed a program for the development of fisheries until 2030 to systematically address issues in the sphere.

The main activities of the fishing industry are:

  • fishing;
  • fishing, fish farming;
  • fish farming and processing.

According to the presented Program, the structure of the volume of the fish and fish products market in the country in 2019 looked as follows: fishing – 45 thousand tons, fish farming – 7.4 thousand tons, exports – 30 thousand tons, imports – 45 thousand tons.

Fish farming should become a growth point in the development of the fish industry.

“In this regard, the ministry, together with scientists and experts, conducted an analysis of the potential for the development of the fishing industry, which showed that up to 600 thousand tons of fish per year can be grown on the water bodies of the republic. We plan to achieve such results in stages, 45% of the potential – by 2030, and the remaining 55% by 2040,” Mirzagaliyev said.

Also, the ministry, together with akims of the regions, developed regional programs for the development of fisheries, on the basis of which a sectoral program for the development of fisheries until 2030 was prepared. In accordance with the program, it is planned to grow about 270 thousand tons of marketable fish per year by 2030.

According to the minister, 545 new fish farms will be created and 323 operating farms will reach their full design capacity.

Within the framework of the implementation of projects in the context of regions, it is planned to attract 345 billion of private investments within 10 years.

“We have identified 4 main factors for the successful development of fish farming. The first is the improvement of legislation. The second is the provision of high-quality fish stock. The third is the establishment of feed production. And the fourth is staffing,” Mirzagaliyev said.

As part of improving legislation aimed at creating favorable conditions for business, this year, work was carried out to introduce quarterly payment for the use of fish resources instead of annual. Previously, businesses were known to pay payments for fishing before obtaining a permit, which was a significant financial burden and often forced the majority to take out loans or withdraw money from working capital.

In addition, the Rules for the transfer of fishery reservoirs from fishing to fish farming were approved. This will enable commercial fishery users to switch to fish farming, especially in the northern regions where there are numerous lakes and these are most suitable for fish farming.

Also, a specific term for concluding an agreement for fish farming has been set for 49 years. This will allow the business to invest in fisheries with confidence and make long-term plans. Previously, the range of the contract term ranged from 5 to 49 years.

“Excessive requirements for fish farmers have been eliminated as part of the Development Plans. The only requirement for them is to fulfill the obligation on the annual volume of fish growing,” the minister said.

It is planned that in the very near future norms will be adopted to remove restrictions on the placement of fish farms in the water protection zone.

In addition, norms will be adopted to exempt businesses from compensation for losses during the construction of fish farms on agricultural land.

In 2021, it is also planned to amend the current legislation in terms of simplifying the procedures for the construction of fish farms, excluding the development of design estimates and passing the state examination. As a result, the placement of fish ponds will be carried out according to preliminary designs agreed with local executive bodies. The relevant bill is under consideration in the Majilis of the Parliament.

"All these amendments will make it possible to effectively use the natural advantages in fish farming, reduce costs in the construction of fish farms and reduce the cost," Mirzagaliyev noted.

For the successful implementation of the program, it is extremely important to provide fish farms with high-quality fish seed material. According to the minister, today there are 15 fish hatcheries in the country, which provide 12% of juveniles of carp fish species and 66% of juveniles of sturgeons.

In turn, juveniles of salmonids, whitefish and other valuable fish species are imported. At the same time, the need for fish stock for 10 years is 2.5 billion pieces.

In this regard, in order to reduce import dependence on fish planting material, the Ministry plans to work out the issue of creating selection and genetic centers for 4 fish breeding zones.

In addition, in 2022, it is planned to build 2 new nurseries: trout and whitefish.

“In addition, it is planned to introduce a PPP mechanism in 4 state fish hatcheries. This is aimed at modernizing, increasing capacities and diversifying the types of fish stock in order to develop reproductive complexes,” Mirzagaliyev said.

The next key area is the provision of feed. In the structure of fish prime cost, feed costs account for up to 70% of total costs. Therefore, the quality and efficiency of compound feed are decisive factors in the profitability of industrial fish farming.

So, in 2019, about 12.5 thousand tons of feed were required to grow 7.5 thousand tons of fish. Today in Kazakhstan, 14 domestic enterprises are engaged in the production of feed with a total capacity of 136 thousand tons per year. However, feed is mainly produced only for carp fish species.

At the same time, in order to grow more valuable fish species, businesses prefer to buy imported feed. So, for the cultivation of 786 tons of trout and 178 tons of sturgeon in 2019, 1.2 thousand tons of imported feed were purchased.

According to the minister, it is necessary to attract business to the construction of 5 modern plants with a capacity of 80 thousand tons per year each. It is advisable to place them in 5 regions — Almaty, Akmola, East Kazakhstan, Turkistan and Mangystau regions.

“In this regard, the ministry, with the participation of domestic investors, has already begun negotiations on the construction of a joint plant with the world-famous Danish company Aller Aqua, which specializes in the production of fish feed,” said Mirzagaliyev.

According to the minister, this will reduce import dependence, reduce the financial burden on business, and create new jobs.

“Fish farming in Kazakhstan is at its initial stage of development, so 4 thousand people will be trained in order to conduct it within 10 years. They are planned to be trained in the existing universities of Kazakhstan, as well as in special educational institutions,” Mirzagaliyev noted further.

For this, it is necessary to reorient educational programs to fish farming with an increase in educational grants from 40 to 400 per year.

In addition, within the framework of program-targeted funding, it is regularly planned to conduct complex scientific research. The most important factor in the successful development of the industry, according to the minister, is business subsidies at the initial stage.

“Today, state support measures exist for feed, machinery and equipment for fish farms, but, in our common opinion with business, they need to be expanded,” Mirzagaliyev said.

So, according to the calculated data, prepared jointly with the regional akimats, 136.5 billion tenge should be allocated for direct subsidies from the local budget for 10 years.

The next block of state support is investment subsidies to reimburse part of the costs of creating and expanding fish processing complexes. This, according to the minister, requires 36.8 billion tenge.

At the same time, fish farmers in their appeals note that today investment subsidies are provided in the total amount for all agricultural producers and are provided on a priority basis. The most important thing is that fish are not included there and, accordingly, are financed on a leftover basis. In this regard, it is proposed to resolve this issue through a separate targeted allocation of funds for fish farming.

It is also necessary to provide for the provision of infrastructure for fish farming projects. This will require about 7 billion tenge from the local budget.

Thus, the implementation of the above measures, according to the minister, will allow for 10 years:

  • to grow 1.1 million tons of fish in the amount of 2.2 trillion tenge;
  • to increase domestic consumption of fish products up to 134 thousand tons per year;
  • to increase fish consumption from 4 to 8 kilograms per person and approach the implementation of the WHO recommendation by 50%;
  • to achieve an increase in export earnings to USD 330 million;
  • to reduce the volume of imports from 45 to 25 thousand tons by increasing the production of trout and sturgeon.

In addition, this will contribute to the creation of at least 50 thousand additional jobs and increase the income of the population, mainly in rural areas.

Following the consideration of the issue, the submitted Fisheries Development Program until 2030 was approved.

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