Proposal for UNDP, Almaty - 1998




UNDP Almaty, Kazakstan

Att. Knud Ostby

Concerning: ’From Kattegat to Aral Sea – phase 2’

Dear Knud Ostby,

Thank you for a rich meeting in Almaty. Just returned to Denmark, I have started solving the tasks that have been waiting. The Society is implementing a project, with the objective to establish an organic fishery in Denmark within the nearest future. The project, that is supported by EU and public Danish fundings, runs through to July 1999, and has a budget of ECU 264,000. It is the largest and most difficult project the Society has worked with ever. In this project am I, contrary to the Aral Sea project, a paid coordinator.

After having considered our meeting and a possible co-operation on the solution of concrete tasks this autumn, I think, that we should concentrate on a clearly identified project, that could have the title: ’Fresh fish to Almaty’. The project will try to sell 50,000 kg of fish of high quality to tradesmen in Almaty. From the expected catch of 250,000-300,000 kg flounder this autumn, the 50,000 are reserved for the market in Almaty. These kgs will be iced (dipped in water, frozen, and repeated three times), and packed in boxes of 50 kg each. The boxes will have information of time and place of catching its contents. A new business, called Pla ’AKNUR’, direktor Mr. Zhursumbaev Marat Burhanovich, Aralsk, has the necessary facilities to make this treatment, and this business will therefore manage the treatment and selling of the fish. The business will need a credit of app. US$ 10,000 with security in the fish from the project. Further, a credit of US$ 20,000 will be needed for paying 30 T/kg to the fishermen for the fish they deliver.

The aim of this part of the total project is to prove that there are more markets for the fish, than the strictly local ones. Further, it will give a concrete example of the future co-operation between fishermen and buyers of the fish. It is crucial that the fishermen will have access to cash in the future, so that they independently can manage the buying of i.e. gear, boats and motors.

As we discussed on the meeting in Almaty, it must be possible for UNDP to justify involving yourselves in this work. From Danish side we have up till now supported the fishery in the Aralsk region with an amount, that after this phase 2 will summon to US$ 400,000. The 200,000 have been spend on gear for the fishery, the 100,000 on five kazakish delegations (app. 35 kazaks) visits and courses in Denmark, and 100,000 for administration and salaries in Denmark and Kazakstan (12 Danes have worked in Aralsk in the period from 1996-99). The main part of this support stems from Danida and the Danish Democracy Fund, but also private funds and businesses have supported the project significantly. Above all, the project depends on the voluntary work being done in Denmark and Kazakstan.

The perspectives for a possible third phase of the project will improve considerably with the marketing of flounder in Almaty. Together with

-         a reasonable market for flounder on the markets closer to the Aral Sea

-         an agreement for co-operation between the project and the joint-stock company Kyzmet (a company that now owns the former fishery factory Aralrybprom). The intention is to buy 2000 nets in Denmark and transport them to Aralsk, the budget is US$ 150,000. Kyzmet will find a credit of 12 mill. Tenge, and the Danish Society will be responsible for buying and transporting the nets to Aralsk.

-         The establishment of a kazakish society called ARAL, for which  US$ 10,000 is reserved.

I hereby allow myself to send a draft for an agreement of co-operation between UNDP and the Danish Society for a Living Sea (LLH) concerning the project ’From Kattegat to Aral Sea – phase 2’.

Project plans

It is now clear that app. 150 fishermen will participate in the fishing for flounder in Little Aral. The fishery will take place from two camps in Tastubek (95 fishermen)and Oshoke (55 fishermen).The fishermen are organised in both cooperatives, brigades and private unites. The agreements with the fishermen states that we will support their buying of motors, and give credit to begin their fishing (i.e. for gasoline, food, boots). We intend to spend US$ 30,000 on this. Further, a biological test fishing will be implemented in Big Aral, costing US$ 10,000. From Danish side 8 people will work during autumn, 1999 to realise the projects main aim: ”To support the Kazakish fishermen, their families and communities with a sustainable fishery for flounder in Aral Sea.” The project has obtained personal support declarations from the Kazakish minister of Energy and Resources, and from the Akim of Kyzlorda Oblast.

Parallel to this, work is done to establish an independent society with the name ’ARAL’. For this purpose, 6 people have been employed in the Aralsk region. These employees will, apart from having concrete tasks during the fishery period, work to give this society a stabile fundament and a large number of members.

In April, 1999 the first general meeting will be held, and the responsible steering committee will be elected. We expect that ARAL will be organised according to the conventions of LLH. The key persons of the society will most likely be the persons that have visited Denmark. Further, a number of persons have cooperated directly with the Danes, these are mainly people from the fishery and the fishing industry – they will probably also involve themselves in the Kazakish society.

If UNDP intends to maintain your involvement in the Aralsk region, then we believe that it will strengthen your position to be involved in the fishery project, because this is oriented towards the production. From Danish side we will guarantee that the biological and the professional fishery part of the project are sound and in working order.  Further, we will guarantee that support and credits will be reserved for the people that have the biggest need: fishermen, their families and communities and the workers in the fishery industry.

Our discussions in Almaty were concerned with the possible UNDP support for the credit to the fishermen, so that the fishery industries would be supplied with fish in the period from October-December, 1998. As a sort of security for this part of the project, we will contact relevant fundings in Denmark, and ask them if they would consider taking this task, if the UNDP should have difficulties. But of course, we hope that UNDP will be able to convince among others the Akim in Kyzylorda of the sensible in the project, that we have described below.

Best wishes from

Kurt Bertelsen Christensen, chairman

September 1998



-        draft for agreement   -

 Agreement between UNDP and LLH to support

the catching, treating and selling of 50,000 kg flounder of high quality


-         LLH contributes with US$ 30,000. 10,000 (app. 75,000 Tenge) will be used as credits for buying the 50,000 kg of flounder, the remaining 20,000 are for direct support and credits for the fishermen.

-         UNDP contributes with US$ 20,000. 10,000 (app. 75,000 Tenge) will be used as credits for buying 50,000 kg of flounder, the remaining 10,000 are used as a credit for the fishery business AKNUR, facilitating them in their ability to treat the fish.

The price for the raw material is set at 30 Tenge/kg flounder – in all 1.5 mill. Tenge, some are to be paid in cash to the fishermen, when they sell the fish to AKNUR. AKNURS costs of treating the fish will be app. 15 Tenge/kg, and further they will have to pay app. 8 Tenge/kg for transporting the fish. Thus the flounder has to be sold at a minimum price of 53 Tenge/kg in Almaty.

It is expected that the fish can be sold for app. 70 Tenge/kg. The current price for flounder in Almaty is 156 Tenge/kg.

Selling 50,000 kg of flounder will lead to an income of 3.5 mill. Tenge, that will be shared according to the following priorities:

Transport and taxes                                   450.000 Tenge

AKNUR                                                 750.000 Tenge

*UNDP                                                 750.000 Tenge

LLH                                                    750.000 Tenge

Total                                                2.650.000 Tenge Other expenses (10%)                                   265.000 Tenge

Total                                                2.915.000 Tenge

Expected profit                                        585.000 Tenge 

* The 750.000 will go back to UNDP









The fishermen pay 3 Tenge/kg flounder to the Kyzlorda Oblast, as payment for their license. Further, they repay their credits from LLH. All expenses in Almaty (i.e. taxes there) are paid by the tradesmen there.

As soon as possible an agreement between UNDP, LLH and AKNUR is to be signed.

The trade of flounder in Almaty is to happen in the last week of November, and the first week of December, 1998. Market sales will be arranged, so that the fish can be sold from refrigerated vehicles on the many smaller markets in Almaty. I fish kitchen will be put up, preparing tastes of the flounder. There are plans to give some of the flounder for free to the institutions in Almaty. Together with the trade, a small conference will be arranged. During the two weeks the project will work to attract the attention of the mass media, and fishermen from Aralsk will be in Almaty to participate actively in the events.