National news in brief

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev will deliver his first state-of-the-nation address as the head of state Sept. 2, he announced via Twitter. Tokayev intends to direct the Parliament and the Government to toughen punishments for drug dealing, paedophilia, sexual assault and other serious violations of the laws, among other initiatives.

Approximately 5,000 educational grants were allocated to children from large families and recipients of targeted social assistance for the 2019-2020 academic year following the task set by President Tokayev. Local executive bodies will provide grants on a competitive basis. Applicants are required to have Unified National Testing (UNT) results of at least 65 points for admission to national universities, at least 50 points for other universities and at least 60 points for pedagogical sciences. Applications will be accepted until Aug. 10 and university admission is open until Aug. 25.

Nur-Sultan will host the first Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Caspian Safety Symposium on safety issues and labour protection Sept. 24-25, reported the KazMunayGas national company press service. “We need to anticipate future events and create sustainable solutions for the future. There is a need to take measures to develop environmental protection policies together with the oil and gas industry regarding the conservation of water resources and protection of our natural resources, forests and wildlife. I look forward to discussing all these issues at the symposium on Occupational Safety, Health and Safety in the Caspian Region,” said Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources Magzum Mirzagaliev.

British-based Genus Breeding Ltd. will help to increase the meat productivity of Aberdeen Angus and Hereford breeds by improving the genetic quality of livestock at AkTep’s feedlots in more than 500 farms in the Aktobe Region, reported the Ministry of Foreign Affairs press service. According to preliminary calculations, the annual increase in profits from each newborn calf will be 50,000-100,000 tenge (US$129-$258) in the first years of the project. “The project will reduce the actual volume of feed used and the growth time of cattle and decrease carbon dioxide emissions. AkTep company has the right to use the British company’s logo in advertisement products to increase the Kazakh company’s international competitiveness and to attract foreign investors to expand production,” reads the release.

KazAgro plans to alter its profit targets due to efficiency reform and increase by the end of 2020, reported the company’s press service. A draft strategy for a 10-year period is also being developed. It will increase labour productivity and agricultural product export, attract new private investments and innovative technologies and develop new business initiatives in the regions. Measures were adopted to improve the quality of the loan portfolio and improve idle projects. The holding will invite foreign experts to the management bodies.

The Kazakh National Olympic Committee received an invitation to participate from July 24-Aug. 9 in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, according to olympic.kz. The country’s team, which currently has ten licenses, includes swimmer Dmitry Balandin (100, 200 metre breaststroke), track and field athletes Olga Rypakova and Georgy Sheiko, cyclist Yevgeny Gidich, open water swimmer Vitaliy Khudyakov and men’s classic archery team. More than 11,000 athletes from 206 countries are expected to take part in the completion.

An agricultural cooperation pilot model will be implemented in the Azat District in the Akmola Region, reported Kazinform. The project, developed by Saken Seifullin Kazakh Agro-technical University scholars, is aimed at organising a programme to fatten cattle at local farms. “Its mission is to create a rural non-profit consumer cooperative. Seventy percent of the livestock in the country is kept in farms of rural residents who think it is not profitable to join cooperatives. The large basic farms will become partners of the locals and provide them with land and other infrastructure. The Samruk Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund will provide 112 million tenge (US$289,000) for the project,” said university chief expert Toleukhan Nurkiyanov.

astanatimes.com