Delegates from Kazakhstan were among the attendees at Ag in Motion, north of Saskatoon, this July.
Dauren Matakbayev, director of Kazakhstan’s Republican Chamber of Hereford Breed, says the country has moved past Soviet-era politics. A new generation is working to develop the economy, he said.
Matakbayev and his colleagues are working to build the country’s ag economy, strike partnerships with Canadian organizations and individuals and persuade those in Canadian agriculture to visit KazAgro, the country’s largest trade show, held October 23 to 25. KazAgro focuses on livestock genetics, ag tech, machinery and equipment, according to Alberta Agriculture’s website.
Ag in Motion was not Matakbayev’s first visit to Canada. He has participated in Canadian Western Agribition, worked with cattle exporters and has visited Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alta. He would like to see similar college programs in Kazakhstan.
“One of our goals is to just open the door,” said Matakbayev. “Open the door for new people to come to us. And from Kazakhstan, we can make it a bridge to China, for example.”
Russia and China are major export markets for Kazakhstan. “Because we are Muslims, mainly, the Middle East is keen to work with us, because we do know what Halal means,” adds Matakbayev.
Right now Kazakhstan has around seven million beef cattle, but there’s easily capacity for 25 million head, says Matakbayev. The feedlot industry is still developing, but there’s potential to learn from Canada’s industry because the climate is similar, right down to the mosquitoes in summer.