This article is from WeChat official account: Earth knowledge Bureau (ID: diqiuzhishiju) , author: Dmitry, cartography: Sun green, proofreading: cat Stewart, editor: Yakult, head picture from: Visual China

At the end of last year, when the African swine fever epidemic caused the price of pork in our country to soar, my country’s northwestern neighboring country and non-affected country Kazakhstan signed a trade agreement with my country and it is expected to export 100,000 tons to China pork.

Kazakhstan and the other four Central Asian countries, eastward is China, northward is Russia▼

Kazakhstan, located in the northwest of our country, is a traditional Muslim country in people’s impression. However, in fact, this country not only has a complete pig industry, it was once a model region for pork production in the Soviet Union.

Pigs are striving to be glorious pigs (picture:▼

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Due to religious and ethnic customs, the pig industry in Kazakhstan has been shrinking. In the past few years, the country’s pig industry has predicted that the pig industry may decline. But with the shortage of pork supply in China and Russia, it has given local pig farmers new hope.

Cage to change birds

The Kazakh nation is one of the many ethnic groups living in Central Asia. After the Tsarist Russia fully controlled the Central Asian region in the 19th century, a steady stream of Russians moved here from the west of the Ural Mountains and interacted with the ethnic groups in Central Asia.

Since they are also “colonizing” eastward, Central Asia is warmer than Siberia, which has a higher latitude (Kazakh in the Soviet family) Stan) ▼

After the February Revolution of 1917, Central Asia as a whole was incorporated into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, experienced several changes in administrative divisions, and finally established the Kazakh Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1925 , Became one of the republics of the Soviet Union.

Kazakh elementary school students holding high the great Soviet banner (Picture: Peter Hübert / wikipedia)▼

In order to balance the proportion of ethnic groups in the area, when the Republic of Kazakh was established, the Soviet Union also placed the Russian settlements in northern Central Asia under its management.Orenburg, a fortress city established to conquer Central Asia during the Russian period, also briefly became part of the Central Asian Republic.

Orenburg is also known as the “Asian Capital of the Soviet Union” on the Eurasian border close to Kazakhstan (Photo: Vadim Orlov / Shutterstock) ▼

However, the event that completely changed the demographic structure of this region was not the Soviet immigration through administrative orders, it was a humanitarian disaster.

The vast majority of Central Asia has a temperate continental climate, and the vegetation is dominated by desert grasslands. Therefore, animal husbandry has been the main production method since ancient times. When the authorities conducted statistics in 1926, 25% of people were engaged in agriculture; 38.5% of people were engaged in animal husbandry; 32.2% of people were both agriculture and animal husbandry; and 10% of people lived a nomadic life. 75% of the country’s land is used for grazing.

Kazakhstan, which has a large land and sparsely populated area, occupies less farming and agriculture, and the climate and geographical environment are more suitable for grazing (Photo: MehmetO / Shutterstock)▼

Nomadism is the most environmentally-friendly production method chosen by the locals. However, the Soviet Central Committee at the time lacked this understanding, and believed that engaging in animal husbandry “has a backward nature that contradicts social progress.” So a large-scale transformation began on the grasslands of Central Asia. The herders were forced to slaughter their cattle and sheep and work in collective farms built on the deserted beaches.

Let herders who are unfamiliar with farming go to farm, and the result can only be that agriculture and animal husbandry suffer a serious blow. In 1932, the Soviet Union broke out a great famine due to the collectivization of agriculture. The Republic of Kazakhstan is one of the most serious areas. About 1.5 million people died in this disaster.

Under the rule of the Soviet Union, Kazakhs became a minority in Kazakh (Photo: -01/907.html)▼

This famine turned the Kazakhs into a minority in their own republic. 1.3 million of the 1.5 million people who died were Kazakhs, directly reducing the proportion of Kazakhs in the Republic of Kazakhstan from 60%. It’s 38%.

The Soviet Famine Victims Monument in the center of Almaty, Kazakhstan (Photo: Wikipedia)▼

By the eve of the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1989, the proportions of the Kazakh and Russian populations in Kazakhstan were 39.7% and 37.8%, respectively. In the past few decades, Russian has been the common language of the republic, and Islamic religious ideology has not been able to enter the house and become an obstacle to the development of characteristic industries of other ethnic groups.

So after the famine, the pig industry flourished in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

There is no way, just take a look (Picture: MehmetO/Shutterstock)▼

The pig problem under the brilliant leadership

In the 20th century, among the many ethnic groups who were forced to move into the Republic of Kazakhstan under the administrative order of the Soviet Union, whether they were Russians, Ukrainians, or Germans detained and exiled to Central Asia, they all had a special preference for pigs.

Slavs believe that pigs are a symbol of abundance. In German slang, they use “he has a pig” to describe someone’s luck.

A Christmas elk can also become a Christmas pig (Photo: alex_sweetest / Shutterstock)▼

Moreover, compared with cattle and sheep, pigs have the advantages of short feeding cycle, high meat production rate, and rich added value. Pig skin can be used to extract gelatin. Pig bristles and pig bones also have industrial value. For the Soviet Union, which is committed to driving the country’s machinery with industrialization, pigs are the most efficient livestock.

If you eat too fat, you will be killed (picture:▼

However, traditionally Kazakhstan is not a suitable area for pig raising. Apart from religious issues, Droughts, excessive temperature differences between day and night, and extremely low winter temperatures all pose serious threats to the health of pigs.

In order to solve this problem, Soviet agricultural experts set out to breed a special pig breed. In 1968, a project named “Kazakh Hybrid” was approved. After several generations of screening and improvement, Kazakh hybrid pigs adapted to the desert steppe climate came out.

This pig breed is specially bred for the severe weather conditions in the southeast of Kazakhstan, which have a large cooling range and severe winter (picture: https://www.▼

This kind of pig is a high-yielding high-quality pig breed. The weight of adult pigs is 210~240 kg, and the number of piglets per litter is 10~11. After 6~7 months of feeding, the weight can reach 100 kg, and the lean meat rate is Is 59%. The most important thing is that this breed is not prone to respiratory diseases and can be raised in the southern region of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Although this type of pig has not been popularized in farms in the entire Republic of Kazakhstan, the number has only increased from 4,000 in 1969 to 67,000 in 1980, but it is still promoted as an important achievement.

In the Soviet Union, blowing pigs is also a traditional art ▼

The political significance of the emergence of Kazakh hybrid pigs is greater than the practical significance. The most popular pig farmers in the Republic of Kazakh are the Ukrainian large white pigs, which have advantages in meat growth, weight gain, maturity time and farrowing rate.

The Great White Pig is an improved breed of British Yorkshire pig introduced into the Soviet Union, and is the most widely distributed pig breed in the world (Photo: IHORYER / Shutterstock)▼< /p>

By 1990, there were approximately 3.2 million pigs on the farms in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the highest number of pigs in the country’s history.

However, after this point in time, after the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic became the Republic of Kazakhstan, the number of pigs in this country began to decline avalanche.

The Almaty Declaration was published in Kazakhstan, confirming the disintegration of the Soviet Union (Photo: RIA Novosti archive / Wikipedia)▼

After the independence of Kazakhstan, in order to enrich the country’s population and enhance its dominant national status, the “Immigration Law” was promulgated in 1992 to attract Kazakh immigrants from all over the world, especially in Russia.

At the same time, the disintegration of the Soviet Union also caused the largest Russian population migration in history. Since 1992, the number of Russians in Kazakhstan has dropped from 6.2 million to 3.6 million. A large number of Russians have withdrawn from this Central Asian country and returned to their home country, Russia.

This profound historical change has once again changed the demographic composition of this country. Currently in Kazakhstan, Kazakhs account for 63.1% of the population, while Russians account for 23.7%.

After decades, it has finally become the main nation of the country, but it is not all the Kazakhs’ credit, mainly because the Soviet Union is unsatisfactory▼

This number is still changing. More than 41,800 people left Kazakhstan in 2018, of which 72.4% were Russians, 7.4% were Germans, and 6.6% were Ukrainians. Only about 2,000 Kazakhs have left the motherland, and a large part of them will return to Kazakhstan in the future, but there is a high probability that other ethnic groups will not return.

The distribution of Russians in Kazakhstan is concentrated in the northern region (picture: wikimedia)▼

Although the law does not give Islam a special status, although Nazarbayev still insists that Kazakhstan is a secular country, there are indeed fewer and fewer people eating pork in this country.

More than 70% of the country’s population are Muslims, and pork is really not a big market here (Photo: savas_bozkaya / Shutterstock)▼

Will pork still be popular?

Currently Kazakhstan has divided six agricultural areas based on natural conditions. Farms located in the same natural climate jointly form an agricultural area. Each agricultural area has its own characteristics of soil, topography, rainfall, and agricultural land structure. According to statistics, the total area of ​​agricultural land in Kazakhstan is 222.6 million hectares, of which arable land accounts for 14.3%, forage fields account for 2.3%, and pastures account for 83.4%.

Most of the land in the country is only suitable for grazing, while the agricultural land is concentrated in the central and southern valleys▼

The pig industry is mainly distributed in the northern grassland area, where the Russians occupy the majority, and 10.2% of the agricultural land in Kazakhstan is located in this area. Among agricultural products in this region, meat production accounts for 20% of the country’s total, while pork production accounts for 36%.

Pork was once the most popular meat in the Republic of Kazakhstan, but currently its consumption in Kazakhstan is only the 5th place in meat consumption, except for beef, mutton and poultry. The consumption of horse meat is higher than that of pork.

Almaty’s historic green bazaar meat market (Photo: Torsten Pursche/Shutterstock)▼

Data from the Statistics Committee of the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan proves that the average annual consumption of pork per person is less than 5 kg. At the same time, according to Eurostat’s (Eurostat) data, in Europe this figure is 45 kilograms per person per year. It is 40 kg in China and 30 kg in Russia.

Demand falls, and output will inevitably fall. Although Kazakhstan has not been affected by the African swine fever outbreak, the number of pigs in the country has dropped from more than 3 million in the early 1990s to 800,000 in 2017.

The decline in the number of pigs raised has led to the decline of some communities that mainly raise pigs. Fortunately, the new policy has provided loans to these communities and the unemployed Worked because of the increase in pork exports (picture:▼

The direct cause of the decline was the departure of the Slavs. Some media once interviewed Victor Kovalenko, a Russian pig farmer in Kazakhstan. He said: “The Slavs are leaving, and fewer people buy pork. If you say one day two or three years ago I can sell two pigs, but now I can’t even sell a piece of meat a day.”

Slavs’ favorite Salo is made from subcutaneous fat on the back of pigs (Photo: Roland Geider / Wikipedia)▼

Another important reason is the attitude of the government and financial institutions towards the pig industry. In the past few years, Kazakh pig farmers have repeatedly complained that it is very difficult to carry out this kind of business in Muslim countries. For example, “no bank is willing to issue any loans during the construction or modernization of pig farms.”

Some government officials are also not caring about supporting the pig industry. They take a cold approach to domestic pig farmers’ lack of breeding pigs and difficulty in purchasing feed, so that more farmers choose to abandon pig raising. In 2017, the country’s pork production fell below 100,000 tons for the first time. Not only was it unable to export, it could not even meet domestic demand. In this year, Kazakhstan even imported 2,400 tons of pork.

Most people have no demand for pork, but it is difficult for those in need to buy it (Photo: Reimar / Shutterstock)▼

After 2017, the top leaders of Kazakhstan began to face up to the difficulties faced by the domestic pig industry. In order to avoid further population loss and increased unemployment, the government redistributed state aid in the “2017-2021 National Agricultural and Industrial Complex Development Plan” to provide subsidies to farmers who raise pigs.

The subsidy is relatively considerable. The national subsidy for every 1 kilogram of pork is 98 Kazakhstan tenge(about 1.6 yuan). With policy support, the number of pigs began to slowly recover, and now it is close to 1 million.

With the huge gap in Chinese pork, relevant practitioners in Kazakhstan have seen hope again. Victor Lin (Viktor Lim), chairman of the Kazakhstan Pig Farmers Union, said that I hope that the number of live pigs in Kazakhstan will reach 120 by 2025. 10,000 heads, 100,000 tons of meat products can be exported to China and Russia each year.

The sausage factory went into production immediately after the epidemic improved, working overtime to earn foreign exchange (Photo: Vladimir Tretyakov / Shutterstock)▼

After experiencing famine, national independence, and swine fever, the pig industry in Kazakhstan has risen and declined in these great changes and once again ushered in opportunities. Under the great ups and downs of the times, the fate of individual farmers is not worth mentioning. This time they temporarily stabilized their jobs. But who can guarantee that the pig industry in Kazakhstan will always be a broad road?

Reference materials: -of-kazakhstan-in-2019 svinovodstva-vygoden-dlya-kazakhstana.html

This article is from WeChat official account:Earth Knowledge Bureau (ID: diqiuzhishiju)< / a> , author: Dmitry, cartography: Sun green, proofreading: cat Stewart, editor: Yakult