On 12 December 2018, a cluster of 11 Dutch companies and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) signed a cooperation agreement "Dutch Fruit Solutions Kazakhstan", in the framework of the programme 'Partners for International Business' (PIB). The cluster will work together to establish the Netherlands as a (knowledge) partner to the Kazakh fruit sector for the production of plant material and associated cultivation care, harvest, post-harvest treatment (refrigerated storage, sorting, packaging), and processing technologies.
The programme focuses on the sustainable positioning of the Dutch chain approach as a solution to challenges such as food security, health, food quality and reducing losses. In addition, attention is paid to sustainable relationship building through knowledge exchange between Dutch and Kazakh knowledge institutes. This PIB program was developed in cooperation with the Agricultural Attaché in Moscow and the Embassy in Astana, office Almaty and will focus on the South East Kazakhstan province. The market share of Dutch involvement in fruit growing is worldwide 15%. Taking into account the ambitious plans of the Kazakh Government in the fruit sector, the Dutch fruit chain could potentially develop 600 ha yearly.
Next to the Government-to-Government (G2G) and Knowledge-to-Knowledge (K2K) activities aimed at establishing a sustainable Kazakh fruit sector, activities are planned like trade missions, matchmaking, workshops, and joint attendance at trade fairs. Furthermore, a Dutch demonstration pilot with intensive orchard, supported by state of the art technology is planned. This orchard with the latest fruit cultivation should become a centrepiece or hotspot for applied research, education (Train the Trainer) facilities and agricultural extension.