ALMATY -- Kazakhstan's Ministry of Agriculture has spent about a million euros to import three combines to help modernise the agricultural sector.
The first unmanned combine was tested in a wheat field in Almaty Province Wednesday (July 18).
The combine is remote controlled via satellite, Vice Minister of Agriculture Arman Yevniyev told journalists.
Kazakhstan imported the combines from the American manufacturer John Deere. The US-based company is one of the best manufacturers of specialised agrotechnology in the world, he said.
Ministry officials handed over the first harvester to the Kaskelen Agropark in Almaty.
"Any farmer can come to the agricultural park, sit down, steer and become convinced how convenient this harvester is," Yevniyev said, adding that the two other harvesters will begin operation in the next few days in Akmola and Kostanay provinces.
Kazakh farmers gain access to new technologies
The agricultural park intends to prove the advantages of the American combine under real world conditions by using it to harvest grain in test fields, Andrei Ageyenko, executive director of the Kaskelen Agropark, told Caravanserai.
Each harvester costs about €300,000 (121.5 million KZT), he said, but it will save up to €49,500 (20 million KZT) in operating costs per 100 hectares of land.
For the average farmer, this machine will be expensive, but if several farms join together, they will be able to purchase a combine and it will pay for itself in a year, Ageyenko said.
Kazakhstan's agricultural sector is growing rapidly, so what is expensive for farmers today may be affordable for them tomorrow, said Kirill Pavlov of Almaty, an adviser to the president of the Baiserke-Agro Co.
"Consequently, new technologies are becoming more accessible," he told Caravanserai.