ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN (25 August 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and KazAgro National Management Holding JSC (KazAgro) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in promoting agriculture investments in Kazakhstan.

The document was signed by Giovanni Capannelli, ADB Country Director for Kazakhstan, and Nurlybek Malelov, Chairman of KazAgro’s Executive Board, in a ceremony in Astana on the sidelines of the first AgriInvestment Forum, jointly organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of Kazakhstan and KazAgro. The event was attended by senior government officials, international and local firms involved with agribusiness, as well as members of the civil society and media.

KazAgro, Kazakhstan’s largest investor in the agribusiness sector, works on implementing state policy to stimulate the country’s agribusiness complex through industrial development. Apart from supplying majority of agriculture products and machinery in Kazakhstan, KazAgro — being the country's largest agency for agricultural financing — also provides lending and investment programs to further develop the country’s agriculture sector and assist agribusinesses. Last year, KazAgro provided more than 80% of total financing directed to the agriculture sector.

“Investments to develop the agriculture sector and agribusinesses, bringing in innovation and best international practice, are vital in diversifying Kazakhstan’s economy, reducing inequalities, and mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Mr. Capannelli. “ADB’s partnership with Kazagro demonstrates our strategic commitment to closely work with Kazakhstan prime institutions to strengthen the agriculture sector. We’ll be active in areas such as irrigation, food security, agribusiness, and agriculture value chains.”

“The agribusiness complex contributes to the development of Kazakhstan’s agriculture sector through lending and investment, with $1.44 billion in total financing in 2016,” said Mr. Malelov. “We want to build on this positive momentum with the timely partnership with and commitment of ADB to help the growth and development of Kazakhstan’s agriculture sector and agribusiness players.”

The MOU, which runs through 2021, will open avenues of cooperation between ADB and KazAgro in strategic infrastructure investment to promote the development of wholesale markets and warehousing facilities, as well as financial support to the processing of agriculture goods and the creation of a commodities exchange market to serve the Central Asian region. ADB and KazAgro will also collaborate in knowledge sharing and in the provision of technical expertise to foster agriculture innovations and cutting-edge agribusiness methodologies.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

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