Baiterek Holding: 'over half a trillion tenge allocated to bolster the agro-industrial complex'
Nurbolat Aidapkelov, First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Baiterek Holding, speaks about the Holding's achievements and plans in a new interview.
– Nurbolat Sergalievich, how would you evaluate the progress of agriculture in 2022? Was it a successful year?
– 2022 saw exceptional growth in agriculture with a 9% increase, surpassing the previous average growth rate of 3-4%. Despite geopolitical events, the agricultural sector remained resilient, driven by a 39% increase in grain and leguminous crop harvest to 22.8 million tons, including a 44% rise in wheat production to 17 million tons, a 17% boost in oilseed crop to 2.8 million tons, and a 4% rise in vegetable production to 4.9 million tons. The livestock sector also showed growth, with a 2.5% increase in cattle to 8.4 million heads, 2.2% increase in sheep to 19 million heads, and 3.8% increase in poultry to 49.5 million heads. The results indicate agriculture's ability to withstand external shocks and its potential for continued development.
– How did Baiterek Holding contribute to the development of the agro-industrial complex?
– Baiterek Holding, through its subsidiaries Agrarian Credit Corporation (ACC) and KazAgroFinance, provided financial support by issuing loans and leasing agricultural equipment. In 2022, the agro-industrial complex was financed with 522.3 billion tenge, which is 13% more than the previous year. This substantial growth in funding outpaces the agriculture sector's growth, driving future growth in the industry.
Additionally, loans for spring planting and harvest activities rose from 70 to 140 billion tenge, with a grace period for repayment extended to 2023 for half of the total funds. This favorable arrangement creates conditions for borrowers to repay their obligations and also supports farmers who cultivate early crops, such as winter crops.
In response to the President's directive, a portion of the recycling fee was earmarked for preferential leasing of farm machinery. As a result, KazAgroFinance received 40 billion tenge form, enabling it to purchase over 1,000 units of agricultural equipment.
Small businesses and start-up entrepreneurs were also supported through ACC's microcredit programs. Approximately 7.9 thousand microcredits, totaling 45.6 billion tenge, were issued.
Baiterek Holding continued to implement its lending and leasing programs, with a record 156 billion tenge allocated for financing through credit partnerships, a 42% increase from 2021.
KazAgroFinance concluded financial leasing agreements for 6.8 thousand units of agricultural machinery and equipment worth 172.8 billion tenge, a 22% annual growth. Meanwhile, the Entrepreneurship Development Fund financed the purchase of 234 units of agricultural machinery for 10.9 billion tenge.
It is worth noting that 96% of funds were directed towards supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Last year, the agricultural sector also received support from the Development Bank of Kazakhstan and Qazaqstan Investment Corporation, which financed three investment projects in the food industry worth 13 billion tenge. To mitigate industry risks and reduce their negative impact on businesses, an insurance system was developed. More than 200 agricultural producers secured insurance contracts for crop and livestock production with the help of ACC, which subsidized insurance premiums worth 718 million tenge.
Additionally, the size of the subsidized insurance premium was significantly increased from 50% to 80% in 2022, and new insurance products were introduced for intensive apple orchards and apple crops.
– What are the Holding's plans for the current year?
Our top priority is to support the sowing and harvesting campaign by allocating 140 billion tenge. Loans are already being issued through a budget loan received, and we aim to finance our agricultural manufacturers as soon as possible.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Protection is introducing a new microcredit program for young entrepreneurs, with ACC serving as the trusted agent. The program offers loans at a preferential rate of 2.5% p.a. for a term of up to 5 years (7 years for livestock farms), with a grace period of up to 1/3 of the loan term.
We are also working on securing budgetary funds for concessional lending and leasing of agricultural machinery. This will provide additional funding for ACC, KazAgroFinance, and support the government's goals for developing the agro-industrial complex.
Our website, where one can apply for microcredits and agricultural equipment leasing, was a success last year, and this year we aim to continue improving online services, automate our processes, and enhance our IT systems to deliver the best possible digital experience to our customers.