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The issues of price stabilization for socially important food products (SIFP) were discussed at the Republican Headquarters in the Digital Office of the Government under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov, press service of the Ministry of Trade and Integration reports.
As noted by First Vice Minister of Trade and Integration Arman Shakkaliyev, the increase in prices for SIFP since the beginning of the year amounted to 4.2%, and by the end of May - 0.7%. Astana (6.1%), East Kazakhstan region (5.3%) and Zhetisu region (5.3%) became the anti-leaders for this indicator this year. Most of all, onions, cabbage, rice and carrots have risen in price, while there is a decrease in prices for buckwheat, sugar, sunflower oil and flour.
The Ministry of Trade and Integration of the Republic of Kazakhstan has developed a new approach to reduce the inflation rate by 2 times, aimed at supporting producers of food products that make the greatest contribution to the growth of prices for SIFP. This includes beef, sunflower and butter, rice, sugar and vegetables. To date, 78 major manufacturers have been identified. The new algorithm will provide a focused approach to each product - from production and storage to sale.
Support measures will differ based on the specifics of production and current problematic issues of enterprises. Prices for the vegetable group of goods will be regulated by the conclusion of Social and entrepreneurial corporations forward contracts. At the same time, all work is planned to be carried out through a special information system that will cover the activities of regional Socio-entrepreneurial corporations, Food Corporations and their partners. This product traceability system will become an "Corporations " and their partners. This product traceability system will become an "electronic mirror" of price stabilization work.
Vice Minister of Agriculture Yerbol Taszhurekov said that the security of the domestic market for 29 main types of foodstuffs due to domestic production is 80% or more. The issue of import substitution will be solved comprehensively through the implementation of more than 900 investment projects in the agricultural sector until 2026 for a total amount of 2.8 trillion tenge. In particular, 270 projects worth 241 billion tenge were implemented in 2022, and another 291 projects worth 536 billion tenge are planned to be launched in 2023.
According to the operational data of the regions as of June 2, the republic has reserves of SIFP in the amount of 589 thousand tons, including more than 104.3 thousand tons of potatoes, 20.9 thousand tons of onions, 25.1 thousand tons of carrots and 28.8 thousand tons of cabbage. At the same time, from June to July, it is planned to harvest 218.3 thousand tons of early potatoes, 161.2 thousand tons of early onions and 30.3 thousand tons of early carrots. 96 thousand tons of cabbage have been harvested in the Turkestan region at the moment, the plan for June is 59.4 thousand tons, for July - 25.9 thousand tons. These volumes of early-ripening vegetables are sufficient to meet the internal needs.
Deputy Chairman of the Agency for Protection and Development of Competition Bolat Sambetov reported on antitrust response measures. In particular, 15 investigations have been appointed in relation to food markets since the beginning of the year, more than 150 acts of antimonopoly supervision have been registered.
Akims of Astana Zhenis Kassymbek, East Kazakhstan region Danial Akhmetov and Zhetisu region Beibit Isabayev also made reports on the measures taken.
The Prime Minister stressed that in general, in May alone, cabbage rose in price by 22.3%, carrots - 10.8%, onions - 9.6%, potatoes - 6.6%, which indicates inefficient work on the ground to provide the market with vegetables in the off-season.
The government has reviewed all price stabilization mechanisms, made appropriate changes to industry rules and legislation. All this organizational work is carried out jointly with akimats. At the same time, one of the factors of price growth is the lack of contracting in the regions", - Alikhan Smailov said.
He also noted the weak coordination on the part of the Ministry of Agriculture.
For price stability, the market must be constantly provided with sufficient supply. For example, the Ministries of Trade, Agriculture and akimats in February-March began to work with Tajikistan on the purchase of onions. However, it was purchased only in May, when the price for it increased by almost 10%. The moment of purchase of goods at an acceptable price was missed. Each region, knowing its specifics, should conclude contracts with producers in advance,- the Prime Minister stressed.
The Head of Government instructed to ensure the full implementation of the new algorithm for restraining prices for SIFP and the timely conclusion of contracts with agricultural producers, as well as to strengthen work on identifying unproductive intermediaries and controlling trade surcharges.
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