Proud of the farm
The farmer knows exactly what he does and does not want to share with the outside world. Despite the registration program recording everything, he is not so keen to share some of the key figures, such as cost price. Kazakh entrepreneurs are proud of their farms and are open to share what they are doing. At the same time, they seem extremely careful with the sharing of key figures and financial results. People that are pioneering are often in the spotlight, and in Kazakhstan, other people often want to benefit from you. It looks like, Kazakh farmers prefer to lie low.
The packaging of Kazakh milk and yoghurt products in supermarkets in the capital Astana almost look Western European: grazing cows in green pastures, with a traditional barn in the background. Although Rakischev has enough space around the farm, cows are not grazing outdoors. The dry hot steppes are not suitable for that. But unlike many Kazakh colleagues, Rakischev’s cattle do go outside during the day to an enclosed sandy plot. This is good for animal health, according to the farmer. Rakischev wants to step up the genetics of the cows. He also aims to increase the quality of the concentrate feed production. The training of his employees is very important to the farmer. The main veterinarian was send to Germany for one year to get updated on animal husbandry and animal nutrition.
Dairy processor is a 500km drive
The milk is sold to the French dairy group Lactalis, which also operates in Kazakhstan. The plant is located in Pavlodar, 500 kilometres away from the farm. In Kazakhstan, such a distance from farm to processor is not uncommon. Rakischev produces 8,000 to 9,000 litres of milk per day. Despite the fact that Kazakhstan is not self-sufficient, the price of milk has dropped considerably over the last months. Last year the price was still €0.60 per litre, now it has fallen to just over €0.30. In addition, the state pays a subsidy of €0.08 per litre. Despite the fact that Rakischev doesn’t want to share the cost price, he does mention that it is still profitable to continue farming with the €0.38 per litre of milk he is receiving. His ambition to grow is therefore still very much alive. Rakischev wants to build a new barn for another 1200 cows.