Kazakh National Agrarian Research University, a UNAI member institution in Kazakhstan, recently hosted the 5th International Agrotechnological Summit, organized with the support of the United Nations Information Office (UNIC) in Kazakhstan. The focus of the event was the study of the recent trends and challenges in the field of sustainable agriculture and climate change around the topic of “Innovative Development of the Agro-industrial Complex in the Context of Economic Globalization.”

During the online event, participants discussed a wide range of topics related to the development of the agro-industrial industry, including the diversification of intensive technologies used in crop and livestock production, innovative tools and knowledge transfer, digitalization of agricultural production, new methods of animal treatment and disease prevention, ensuring food and biological security, and management of land, water and forest resources.

Presenters highlighted how universities and colleges are dealing with critical global challenges such as food insecurity, the need to improve the dissemination of scientific and technical knowledge as well as best practices in different countries among farmers, and to implement effective and remedial economic, social and legal measures that support agrobusiness and related small and medium companies during the ongoing pandemic.

In addition, researchers shared their work, which included specific projects related to modernizing agriculture in connection to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goals 2 (Zero Hunger) and 15 (Life on Land), which are directly related to this sector. One of the keynote speakers, Dr. Tlektes Yespolov, Rector of Kazakh National Agrarian University, stressed the need to continue working on the development of agriculture and food security and to do so he said “It is quite imperative to actively support innovations and new technologies in the future while also opening opportunities for our partners, from academia and the private sector, to share their experiences and achievements and work together in the field of agricultural education, agricultural research, and business.” The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in these fields, in addition to research projects and initiatives such as the AgriTech Hub.

The AgriTech Hub develops, attracts and transfers modern technologies to the agricultural sector of Kazakhstan where agriculture plays an essential role in economic and social development. According to a study by the World Bank, “Agriculture produces only 5% of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product (GDP), but employs almost one-third of the country’s working population, making the sector essential for improving food security and social livelihoods.”

The government of Kazakhstan pays special attention to attracting new technologies and promoting innovations in the field of agriculture. In 2020, the World Bank approved a $500 million loan to Kazakhstan for a Sustainable Livestock Development Program to support sustainable livestock production by developing the infrastructure for free range animal husbandry and creating a traceable production system to produce beef in accordance with international standards.