Agriculture Minister Saparkhan Omarov spoke about the reasons for the rise in food prices in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports.
When asking questions to the head of the Ministry of Agriculture, the journalists noted that prices in the markets are growing daily: potatoes from Kyrgyzstan are sold for 400-500 tenge.
“Do you think that there is a threat to food security in Kazakhstan? And where is our, domestic one on the shelves? " - Saparkhan Omarov was asked.
“I do not think that today there is any threat to the food security of Kazakhstan due to the fact that today products of other states are partially sold on our counters. With regard to potatoes, I would like to say that the consumption of potatoes in Kazakhstan is 3 million 693 thousand tons. We are producing 4 million tons. Provision for potatoes is 108,5 percent, ”Omarov said.
He said that there is a “seasonal situation” on the markets, so a lot of foreign products are presented.
“Our Kazakhstani potatoes are now ripening, it is done this way every year, they are imported from Uzbekistan. When it is off-season in Uzbekistan, our potatoes are exported there, and when we have the off-season period, Uzbek potatoes come to us. We have our own young potatoes on the way, after a certain time they will already appear, ”said Saparkhan Omarov.
The journalists asked the minister to answer when he personally last visited the market and whether he has control over the price situation.
“I usually go to shops or markets on Sundays when I have a day off. In addition, we have a department that monitors prices in stores and markets every day, ”Omarov replied.
In addition, the head of the Ministry of Agriculture was asked whether he considers the price of 430 tenge per kilogram of potatoes to be adequate.
“There are enough potatoes in the country today. Potato production is sufficient. And tomorrow, overproduction may again affect the fact that agricultural producers will not be able to sell potatoes at cost even. This has happened in the past. Therefore, I would not recommend producing more than it should be.
Speaking about the price, today our manufacturers sell directly from their warehouses at the price of 200 tenge, the remaining 200 tenge are already markups of intermediaries or the same supermarkets. To remedy this situation, the Ministry of Trade and Integration is currently implementing a program for the construction of wholesale distribution centers and commodity distribution centers. I think that this will help us resolve the issue of the mediators, ”he said.
He added that last year, a field-to-counter pilot program was carried out in three southern regions, with producers directly contracting with retail outlets.
“The program has proven itself well, so I think this program needs to be further developed. All regions have stabilization funds, now the government has decided that the purchase amount for these stabilization funds will be increased to 50 billion tenge. And through these stabilization funds we will regulate the price, ”Omarov said.