Australian Angus heifers to pioneer Kazakhstan beef industry

Beef Central, 23/09/2011

400 Angus heifers from South Australia will soon be flown to Kazakhstan as part of a new deal to help build the nation’s beef industry.

South Australian agriculture minister Michael O’Brien announced this morning that a new export deal has been signed between Rural Solutions South Australia, a local exporter and a major Kazakh agricultural firm.

Under the deal 400 Angus heifers will fly into Astana, Kazakhstan, in early November, and another 2100 between May and October next year to form the nucleus of the country’s first beef herd.

“These will be the first Australian cattle imported into Kazakhstan,” Mr O’Brien announced in a press release.

“In a joint positive outcome for South Australia, Adelaide-based export firm ExpoTrade has also been contracted by the northern Kazakhstan company to source the stock from southern Australia and manage their transport.

A 10 year business plan has been devised to guide the development of the industry in Kazakhstan.

Staff of Rural Solutions travelled to Kazakhstan in August to evaluate the importer’s resources, land, people, equipment and animals. Two staff members from the importer will also visit South Australia in October to undertake four weeks of intensive training with extension staff and cattle producers.

“With the whole of the beef value chain available to us here in South Australia, our Kazakhstan
colleagues will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience across the entire industry,” said Dr Sean Miller, Senior International Consultant with Rural Solutions SA and a 2010 Churchill Fellow.

“It will give them a vision of what could be achieved in Kazakhstan in the future and set them on the path to success in the beef industry.

“Temperatures in Kazakhstan can fall to below minus 30 degrees in winter.

“With these Australian Angus heifers going into such a cold climate, it is important that we pass on essential knowledge to manage cattle in these extreme conditions.

“We can teach them how cattle can thrive outdoors, not just survive, in such cold weather, as has been proven in similar cold winter climates such as Canada.

“We expect that the training provided will not just assist the company involved, but will flow onto poorer subsistence farmers in Kazakhstan who carry small herds and have little capacity to invest.”

Mr O’Brien said South Australia was chosen as the preferred supplier of cattle and expertise for its disease-free status, the proven adaptability of Australian-bred British breeds of cattle to the state’s cold climates and its expertise in beef cattle husbandry and management. Another factor was “the fact that our producers operate profitable low-cost enterprises without government subsidies,” he said.

Rural Solutions SA is the business arm of Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA), providing professional consultancy services for Australian and international public and private clients.

It was established as a self-funding business unit within PIRSA.

“This is a great example of a South Australian Government enterprise delivering a commercial service efficiently and effectively,” Mr O’Brien said. 


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