Kazakhstan's Basic National Conditions and Agricultural Development
release time:2020-06-12 21:00 source:Shanghai Coorperation Organization Countries Regional Agricultural Cooperation Network

Basic National Conditions

The total land area of Kazakhstan is about 269.9 million hectares. It has 220 million hectares of agricultural land, of which 24 million hectares are cultivated land, accounting for 10.8%; 50,000 hectares of pasture, accounting for 2.2%; 189 million hectares of grassland, accounting for 85 percent. Vegetation is well distributed in Kazakhstan. Forests and grasslands account for 10% of its total area, deserts and semi-deserts for 60%, and mountains for 5%. According to the data of FAO, Kazakhstan has about 1.5 hectares of arable land per capita. Kazakhstan is located in the hinterland of Central Asia, where rainfall is scarce and evaporation is high. In addition, in the process of reclamation of wasteland and development of grain production, a large amount of surface water would be utilized. Therefore, water resource is the key to the agricultural development of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is located in the lower reaches of the Syr river and Amu Darya, and its surface water resource is about 69.3 billion cubic meters. Agriculture and animal husbandry account for a large proportion in its national income, and its irrigation water consumption is relatively large. So it faces a serious shortage of water.

Agricultural Production

In recent years, the Kazakh government has actively formulated a series of policies and measures to promote agricultural development, which has brought its agricultural economic development into a new era. By ten end of 2016, Kazakhstan's agricultural output was about USD 8.325 billion, it was  about 4.5% of the country's GDP. Kazakhstan is the largest grain producer in Central Asia, with grain output accounting for more than half of the total grain output of Central Asia. Wheat, barley and rice are the main grain crops in Kazakhstan, among which wheat is the most important grain crop with an average annual output of over 10 million tons. Grain output reached 22.8 million tons in 2018. Grain production was  large-scale and mechanized in the last century. However, the prominent problem is that agricultural machinery and equipment are backward and seriously depreciating. The average agricultural machinery in Kazakhstan has been in use for 13 to 14 years. Under normal circumstances, the life of agricultural machinery is 7 to 10 years, and the worn and torn agricultural machinery and equipment has reached more than 80%.

Animal husbandry plays an important role in national economy, but it has developed slowly in recent years. Animal husbandry of Kazakhstan is still based on the model of free raising and its economic benefits are yet to be improved. At present, only about 9% of livestock is owned by agricultural enterprises, 78% belongs to individuals or small farms, and 13% is owned by farmers (farms). The low level of intensification leads to high production costs, difficulties in spreading breeding and advanced feeding techniques, and a series of problems such as backward breeding equipment. To solve the prominent technical problems of the future production planning for animal husbandry, the research on dairy bio-safety technology shall be strengthened, so as to reduce the safety risks of dairy products, strengthen the technical research on the livestock meat industry chain, and strengthen the technical research on poultry and eggs to promote the economic growth of the livestock and poultry industry.

Agricultural Technology

The agricultural technology of Kazakhstan is developing slowly, because investment from the State is far from enough. So there is little innovation in agricultural scientific research, and it mainly relies on the introduction of new techniques and new foreign technologies to improve the agriculture production. Its agriculture has a list of questions. The ability of the country is especially weak in grain and food processing technology, anti-season vegetables production technology and logistics technology.There are difficulties in the promotion of livestock and poultry breeding and advanced breeding technology, and farming equipment is backward. Its processing technology and equipment for agricultural products are also yet to be improved. Grain processing enterprises are small in scale and low in level of development, which are unable to meet the domestic demand for grain and its finished products under special circumstances. Grain export is dominated by raw materials such as wheat and wheat flour. The prominent problem to be solved in the future agricultural production planning is how to improve the efficiency of land use and efficiency of water resource use through improving water-saving irrigation technology to support the growth of agricultural export trade. In the future, scientific and technological research shall be strengthened on agricultural arable land, and more stress shall be laid on the transfer of agricultural technology and the development of technical equipment.

Agricultural Policies

In order to restore and develop agriculture, Kazakhstan formulated and implemented the Land Law. In the process of introducing foreign capital, attention is paid to the development of agriculture driven by oil. Kazakhstan's support policies for agricultural production mainly include price and income support policy, preferential credit, agricultural subsidies and tax incentives. Among them: (1) Price and income support policy is the most important agricultural support policy tool. The Government of Kazakhstan gives price or income support according to the area of grain cultivation and the stock of livestock. (2) Preferential credit is another important policy tool for agricultural support in Kazakhstan. This specific method is aimed to provide public funds with fixed administrative interest rate, and to set up an independent management system based on this. The state is the only provider of this preferential credit. (3) Agricultural subsidies are the main components of Kazakhstan's agricultural support policy system, including the subsidies for mineral fertilizer, chemical fertilizer, high quality seed, irrigation and plantation maintenance. It also provides feed subsidies and breeding subsidies for livestock producers. (4) Tax concessions: Kazakhstan agricultural enterprises enjoy a 70% discount in 6 key business taxes (land tax, property tax, social tax, value-added tax, enterprise income tax and vehicle tax).