Кинталь Исламов: "Мы нацелены на высокий результат" - Atameken-Agro

Kintal Islamov: “We are focused on high results”

Kintal Kintalievich, what was the past year like for the company?
– For all farmers, without exception, it was difficult. If in 2022 we talked about drought, then 2023 has become even more difficult due to climatic conditions. At the beginning of the agricultural season, we had optimistic forecasts, but the weather made severe adjustments to the yield dynamics. Sunflower became the most vulnerable position - they expected 1.8 tons per hectare, but received about 0.9 tons per hectare. They “sank” in all crops, with the exception of rapeseed and flax. With such indicators, one cannot count on profitability. But in comparison with other agricultural enterprises, we did a decent job, including because we practice the technology of sowing crops early and, accordingly, early harvesting. This year this strategy has proven itself once again. In general, the quality of the products grown was quite good. Due to the ongoing conflict in neighboring countries, logistics problems are still relevant, so we are looking for new destinations, for example, China. On the one hand, this is promising, on the other hand, it is not easy due to the not so developed transport infrastructure. In addition, today, as a result of sanctions, cheap Russian grain has rushed to our traditional markets, actively displacing Kazakh products from the Iranian market, in particular.
The next sowing campaign is ahead, are your farms in full readiness?
- Yes, we prepared in a timely manner - we were provided with seeds, spare parts, and fuel. We plan to start approximately in the first days of May, we hope for timely, high-quality sowing. Autumn moisture replenishment and abundant snow cover inspire us with optimism. The flood situation was under control - we carried out all preventive measures, so we practically avoided flooding of our production facilities in the settlements where our farms are located. Atameken-Agro JSC is a large agricultural enterprise and has greater resources and capabilities, unlike other, smaller agricultural enterprises. We have the prerequisites for getting a good harvest. Of course, the result is influenced by a combination of factors, including agricultural technologies and the use of mineral fertilizers, some of which we applied in the fall. Starting from 2020, we are gradually modernizing the machine park; last year, a significant part of it was also replaced - modern seeding systems, combines, and sprayers were purchased. We strive to unify and update equipment in all subsidiaries; the main requirement is high technical and production characteristics. I would like to note that the holding is one of the faithful partners of the CLAAS company, which in 2023 entrusted us with testing two limited edition tractors with a capacity of 590 and 540 horsepower. The machines have been successfully tested in two of our farms - Dikhan Plus LLP and Atameken-Agro LLP. This kind of examination once again confirmed that we have the necessary potential, experience, and competent personnel.
Last year, Atameken-Agro JSC began implementing projects important for the development of the company. Will the work continue this year?
– Two large-scale investment projects have been launched: the construction of a dairy farm for 1,400 heads on the basis of our subsidiary Atameken-Agro-Korneevka and an oil extraction plant on the territory of the special economic zone “Qyzyljar” within the borders of Petropavlovsk. The construction of the MTF was planned to be completed by the end of last year, but for objective reasons related to difficulties in shipping commercial products and untimely receipt of funds, the project moved to this year. We hope to complete construction and put the facility into operation this summer. As for the oil extraction plant, it is at the design stage; we plan to begin preparatory work this fall. The project is expected to be implemented until 2026. It is also planned to further develop the issue of processing our products. Next year we plan to begin processing legumes, then dairy products and deep processing of grain. Of course, such projects are evidence of the company’s financial stability. The holding invested a lot of its own funds and additionally attracted investment resources. Moreover, a significant achievement of the past year for Atameken-Agro was the signing of a Memorandum with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Our company became the only one in the domestic agricultural sector to receive a loan from this international financial institution, therefore, it meets its high requirements - first of all, the criteria of openness and transparency of business. An important step for the holding and successfully completed negotiations with a Chinese company on the export of the first batch of commercial products with a volume of 200 thousand tons (barley, flax, rapeseed, peas, sunflower) with a subsequent increase in supplies to a million tons.
The holding has long used digital technologies to effectively manage production. Are you planning to introduce anything new?
– We are gradually moving forward in this direction, realizing that we cannot do without innovative IT solutions. The AgroStream information system and the AutoGRAF satellite monitoring system, implemented in the holding, have proven themselves to be excellent. For example, the mobile version of the AgroStream system was used in test mode last year; this year it will work in full and will allow us to manage all processes in the field even more efficiently. You need to constantly be interested in and try new developments in agriculture, because the usual is yesterday. Without modern technologies it is difficult to move forward. Look at how agricultural machines are changing - they are “smart” and require not just driving skills, but also an understanding of their design. We are trying to improve to make it easier for people to work. But this requires good personnel. This is the main value and capital of the holding.
How is a professional team formed?
– Employees have opportunities for training, improvement of professional skills, career growth, providing comfortable working conditions so that knowledge and work bring pleasure. From year to year, agronomists and engineers gain new knowledge. A separate training block on the basics of agriculture and equipment management is also provided for machine operators. The company has a corporate social policy, a system of bonuses and incentives. At the end of last year, we traditionally honored the best workers at the ceremonial meeting of Atameken-Agro JSC dedicated to the Day of Agricultural Workers. The event was held under the sign of a special date – the 20th anniversary of the holding. For their fruitful work and enthusiasm, the leaders were awarded cash prizes and travel vouchers. Our best employees are annually awarded with trips abroad.
We have a large, well-coordinated, qualified team. Everyone makes an appropriate contribution in their place; random people in the company do not stay long. We expect great results from the coming year; we believe that the Atameken team will cope with any difficult tasks. From year to year, our company confidently steps into tomorrow, and this is the merit of every employee of the company. Therefore, I can say with confidence that victory will be ours!




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