SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork unit of Tyson Foods, will soon start on a new operation in central Asia.

The company signed an agreement on Dec. 9, with the government of Kazakhstan and private holding company Kusto Group Pte. Ltd. to collaborate on a project that could lead to building a beef processing plant in the country. Tyson said the anticipated harvest capacity would be 2,000 head per day. 

When the project is complete, Tyson and its partners expect to have an agricultural economic benefit of more than $1 billion per year in Kazakhstan. The company also said this was part of the country’s initiative to modernize its agriculture, starting with meat production. 

“We’re pleased to execute an agreement with the government of Kazakhstan and partner with Kusto,” said Steve Stouffer, group president, Tyson Fresh Meats. “This opportunity supports one of our growth strategies to expand Tyson’s global business, and we look forward to bringing our expertise and capabilities to the country of Kazakhstan.”

During the negotiations, Tyson Foods officials traveled to Kazakhstan and met with Askar Mamin, prime minster of Kazakhstan. Mamin also traveled to Tyson’s headquarters in Arkansas.

“We are delighted to welcome Tyson Foods to Kazakhstan,” stated Prime Minister Mamin. “Tyson is a world-class company with the expertise necessary to help Kazakhstan jump-start the transformation of our agro-protein capabilities and help us create an ecosystem that will increase our beef herd size and establish conditions to support thousands of new high-quality jobs in the country.”

Kazakstan is the ninth largest country in terms of land area along with a population of around 19 million people. The nation also shares a border with China.

Kusto Group is headquartered in Singapore, but currently produces beef in Kazakhstan, according to the Financial Times. Kusto also operates oil, gas, mining, construction, real estate development and agricultural operations in more than 10 countries across four continents. 

“Together with Tyson Foods, we are taking a first step in that direction today with our beef operations and look forward to getting underway,” said Yerkin Tatishev, chairman of the board of directors, Kusto Group.