Kazakhstan: Technical Assistance to the Sunflower Seed Sector
Report Series - N. 14 - September 2009
Sunflower oil is by far the major vegetable oil consumed in Kazakhstan. The growing consumer demand has been largely met by imports rather than local production. From 2005 to 2007, the EBRD provided loans totalling USD 26 million to Turkuaz Edible Oil Industries, a subsidiary of Savola Group, to develop its vegetable oils production business in Aktobe. Results illustrated soon that sunflower yields could be increased if farmers used new sunfloweer seed hybrids even under low rainfall conditions. In 2007, FAO and the EBRD, with funding from the Government of Japan, agreed to provide technical assistance to help farmers in the region increase production and processing of sunflower seed using more efficient techniques.
To ensure that the best international expertise was provided to local farmers, FAO worked together with Cetiom/Agropol to transfer know-how and provide training. Topics covered included planting, fertilization, weed control and harvesting. Sunflower seed hybrids were provided from seed companies in France and Ukraine and partners in Kazakhstan provided locally available and imported hybrids for demonstartion trials. In 2008, demonstration trials were conducted in two locations in the Aktobe region and 30 hybrids from different seeds companies were tested.