No failures acceptable: Government discusses preparations for locust control

On 28 March 2024, Deputy Prime Minister Serik Zhumangarin held a regular monthly meeting on preparations for locust control.

According to the information of Deputy Minister of Agriculture Azat Sultanov, currently there is a stock of pesticides in warehouses to treat 1.1 million hectares of areas. Contracts have been signed for the purchase of pesticides for 323.6 thousand hectares. Additional agreements are being signed to supply pesticides for another 607.5 thousand hectares, which will be delivered to the central warehouse by 20 April 2024. The total volume of chemicals is sufficient to treat 2.09 million hectares. Tender procedures for procurement of biopesticides for 62.5 thousand hectares are ongoing.

Contracts for chemical treatment of 719 thousand hectares have been concluded. Tender procedures for procurement of chemical treatment services for 1.6 million ha are in progress.

Tentatively, in the third decade of April, chemical treatments against locusts will begin in Turkestan region. This region is piloting the transition to the purchase of a single service, including the cost of pesticides, their transport, storage and application. It is planned to switch to centralised procurement of services for locust control throughout the country next year. According to the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, this will give an opportunity to control the quality and result of land treatment, increases the responsibility of performers and is more attractive for business participation in the procurement of these services.

It is noted that in the current year on the territory of Kazakhstan is predicted to spread locust herds on an area of 2.5 million hectares, which is 1.5 times higher than 2023 (1.6 million hectares). The greatest spread of pests is expected in Aktobe region (784.4 thousand ha), Kostanay region (776.9 thousand ha) and Turkestan region (271.6 thousand ha). To combat locusts in 2024, a total of 8.1 billion tenge has been allocated from the national budget, which is enough to treat the entire projected area.

"This year we expect a good harvest, farmers are allocated additional funds for spring field work, fuel and lubricants, spare parts, fertilisers and other necessary components for quality sowing season. And all preparatory works on locust control should be carried out on time and without delays. There should be no failures," Serik Zhumangarin emphasised.

At the same meeting, Deputy Prime Minister heard the proposals of the Ministry of Agriculture on reforms in the field of plant protection and quarantine. The set of proposed measures is designed for 3 years. In addition to centralisation of measures to combat locusts, they include equipping the Republican Methodological Centre of phytosanitary diagnostics and forecasts with innovative means for monitoring the spread of pests, plant diseases and weeds, development of procedures for emergency phytosanitary measures, digitisation and introduction of geo-information systems to record the foci of locusts and other particularly dangerous pests, quarantine objects, equipping regional laboratories with necessary equipment and other measures.

"The main task in veterinary and phytosanitary services is to eliminate the technical backwardness of these services. A wide package of amendments to legislation is to be developed and approved. In addition to equipping facilities with modern material and technical means, it is necessary to train specialists in new technologies. We need to work out specific proposals and proceed to their implementation," Deputy Prime Minister summarised.

#Ministry of Agriculture #Serik Zhumangarin

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