OECD Review of Agricultural Policies: Kazakhstan 2013
Greater investment in transport infrastructure, agricultural research and food safety systems is needed to help Kazakhstan boost the long-term competitiveness of its farm sector and meet wider economic diversification objectives.
This report reviews progress in Kazakhstan's agricultural sector over the past two decades, since it transitioned from a planned to a market economy, and proposes policy reforms that will enable the country to take full advantage of its vast agricultural potential.
OECD analysis suggests the following reforms to help Kazakhstan boost its agriculture sector:
Re-focus policy efforts on strategic investments such as transport infrastructure, agricultural research and innovation, food safety systems and training.
Increase efforts to integrate small-scale producers into agricultural markets and to diversify and improve rural incomes.
Adopt a broader vision of food security through a diversified policy approach including sustainable productivity growth, rural development, poverty reduction and trade openness.
Improve the economic incentives for sustainable resource management and incorporate environmental concerns into agricultural policies.
Develop policies and tools for risk management in agriculture.
Clarify the role of state agencies in agriculture.
Improve governance of agricultural policy.
Facts about agriculture in Kazakhstan
Over 80% of the country’s total area is classified as agricultural land, including almost 70% occupied by pasture. Arable land constitutes less than 10% of the country’s total land area, but its availability per inhabitant (1.5 hectares) is the second highest in the world after Australia (2.1 hectares).
Agriculture contributed 5% of Kazakhstan's GDP in 2011 and 26% of its employment.
Government support to agriculture in Kazakhstan over the 2009-11 period, measured by the OECD Producer Support Estimate, was KZT 200 billion (USD 1.36 billion) per year. This represents an average 11% of farmers’ gross receipts, which is below the average for OECD economies.
After the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, agriculture in Kazakhstan experienced a difficult transition from a planned to a market economy. A gradual recovery began in the early 2000s, followed by a rise in Kazakhstan’s total trade in agro-food products in the second half of that decade, when it became one of the world’s top grain exporters. (See graphic and data on right)
Kazakhstan’s agro-food trade, 1995-2010, USD million