Organized by HUKZ-Agro Llc., on July 17, 2023, the Kazakh delegation visited the Fruit Growing Research Station in Újfehértó and discussed the potential of apple growing and the implementation of large-scale collaborations. Minister of Agriculture István Nagy also paid his respects at the event.
LAC KZ, which belongs to L.A.C. Holding, and the Kazakhstan K-Agro group have been cooperating closely in the field of hybrid corn seed production for more than a year. The production of the seeds is organized by HUKZ-Agro, a joint venture between the Hungarian LAC Holding Group and the Kazakh K-Agro.
"Alma Llc., one of K-Agro s subsidiaries in Kazakhstan, has a medium- and long-term goal of quality apple cultivation." - Sergey Igorovich Chernyshev, the head of the company, explained at the event.
Apples are grown on half of the 1,000 hectares of farming land in the Issyk region. The previous Dutch import of apple seedlings would be changed to 100% own cultivation by establishing domestic nurseries, with which a significant improvement in quality can be predicted. According to the plans, by 2028 they can reach a production volume of 15,000 tons per year, and by reaching the target numbers, they will increase the value of the investment by installing a sorting and sorting line and cold warehouses. The remaining second-class apples that cannot be sold on the market are not wasted either, because they are used in small quantities to make apple wines in cooperation with the Bacchus Global winery. In the future, the production of apple juice, cider, or calvados is not ruled out either.
The Újfehértó Fruit Growing Research Station has been supplying the country with excellent fruit for more than 70 years. The most important tasks of the station include maintaining the apple, pear, quince and medlar gene bank, carrying out various cultivation technology experiments, searching for new landscape varieties, pedigree registration and breeding, as well as careful varietal research of apple, cherry and some berry varieties. The company is currently operating under the name Szabolcsi Alma Centrum Nonprofit Llc. in close cooperation with the University of Debrecen. The new name refers to the large-scale investment, the Szabolcs Alma Centrum Complex Logistics and Knowledge Center, which started two years ago, and plans to fundamentally change the situation of apple growing in the country and, along with it, the future activities of the Research Institute.
The large-scale event was opened by the greeting of László Horváth, Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan, President and CEO of L.A.C. Holding, in which he highlighted the importance of Kazakh-Hungarian cooperation in the field of agriculture as well. After the welcome, Ferenc Takács, head of the Research Station, gave a professional presentation, which was followed by a company presentation by Szergej Igorovics Czernisev, managing director of Alma Iszik Llc.
At the meeting, Minister of Agriculture István Nagy emphasized that the consultation creates a great opportunity to gain a better insight into Hungarian fruit research and breeding. The Szabolcsi Alma Centrum in Újfehértó will fundamentally change the situation of the sector. The head of the ministry said that two-thirds of apples grown in Hungary are juice apples and only one-third are edible apples, and we are working to reverse this ratio. He explained that Hungarian-Kazakh political and economic cooperation carries a serious opportunity. We want to build on this trust in connection with apple cultivation and processing.
At the event, as part of a tour, the participants had the opportunity to see the building serving as the site of the investment, the research laboratory and the new apple plantations.