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WASHINGTON, June 27, 2007— Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today met with Kazakhstan’s Agriculture Minister Akhmetzhan Yesimov and agreed on specific areas of cooperation under the memorandum of understanding signed last September.

"Minister Yesimov and I are putting the agreement into action," said Johanns. "We have identified several significant activities that will foster the use of more advanced agricultural technologies, improve agricultural productivity and rural development, create opportunities for trade and investment and strengthen policy and regulatory frameworks. These efforts will help Kazakhstan succeed in becoming a market-driven economy."

Activities include:

Scientific research fellowships for Kazakhstani agricultural scientists and policymakers under the Norman E. Borlaug International Science and Technology Fellows Program,

Market-oriented agricultural training under the Cochran Fellowship Program,

Agricultural economics and business management instruction under the Agricultural Economics Faculty Exchange Program, and

Training on future World Trade Organization sanitary and phytosanitary obligations.

In addition, two Kazakhstani officials will participate in the USDA Global Conference on Agriculture-Based Biofuels scheduled for August 20-22, 2007, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The U.S.-Kazakhstan Business Association is holding a roundtable discussion today with several of the U.S. agribusinesses that accompanied Johanns on last July’s U.S. Trade and Investment Mission to Kazakhstan. Accomplishments from that mission include partnerships between U.S. and Kazakhstani equipment companies and potential sales of U.S. meat, poultry and processed food products. These U.S. companies have first-hand experience in the Kazakhstani market and can pass their knowledge on to other companies hoping to increase trade and investment in Kazakhstan.

Since 1993, USDA has provided agricultural training under the Cochran Fellowship Program to more than 227 Kazakhstanis in areas such as biotechnology, agribusiness marketing and management, livestock genetics, animal health and veterinary services. In addition, 16 Kazakhstani agricultural university instructors have participated in USDA’s Agricultural Economics Faculty Exchange Program since 1995.


Release No. 0183.07

FAS PR 0064-07


Keith Williams (202) 720-4623

Linda Habenstreit (202) 720-9442

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