Beef CRC research enroute to Kazakhstan

AUSTRALIA - Kazakhstan livestock officials expect the information learnt during a recent visit to the Beef Cooperative Research Centre will help fuel the growing beef industry in the central Asian country.
calendar icon 14 November 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

Funded by a World Bank Drylands Management Project a group representing Kazakhstan primary
production is on a fact-finding tour of Australia to help turn the current practices of uneconomic
grain growing into a more sustainable livestock-based production system.

The tour included a visit to the Beef CRC, where the group spoke first hand with researchers about
how CRC beef research could help the country make the change.

Beef CRC Communication Manager, Warwick Fraser says the group was very impressed with our
collaboration between industry and research and wanted to learn how they could foster the same
relationships in their home country.

“They wanted to learn all they could about the Cooperative Research Centre Programme and the
fact that our research is focused on major industry outcomes really interested them. We were told
there is no such collaboration in Kazakhstan.”

“Kazakhstan is one of the fastest-growing economies in the former European Communist block, so
now they have a real opportunity to turn their primary production around,” says Mr Fraser.

“Using Hereford and the national Kazakh cattle breeds, a small industry is slowly taking shape. But
their biggest obstacle will be convincing farmers to turn from grain to livestock. Kazakhstan is the
world’s sixth largest grain producer, so it will be a real changing of the guard.”

Representing the Ministry of Environment Protection, Mr Kairat Sabitov outlined why the country
wants to change primary production from grain to livestock.
“During the Soviet Union days, all land was ploughed for grain growing and this caused significant
environmental degradation,” Mr Sabitov said. “So now the land is ruined for growing crops and also
for grazing livestock.”

“We are telling farmers that livestock is the future. While in Australia we have been learning about
what pastures and production systems we will have to put in place to make this happen.”

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