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Tokayev started a land redistribution in Kazakhstan: motives

28 July 2022

Moskovskij Komsomolets

Kazakhstan's Ministry of Agriculture reported that unused agricultural lands are returned to the state on a mass scale. During the 6 months of 2022 904 thousand hectares of land were withdrawn from the owners and nationalized (last year 430 thousand ha). In the new year plans are made to provide the return of another 5 million ha of unused agricultural lands into the state ownership.

Director on regional projects of the Caspian Institute of Strategic Studies Yuri Solozobov commented on the «Kazakhstani redistribution» specially for the «MK».

Ц Kazakhstan is one the three post-Soviet countries, along with Russian and Ukraine, that produces wheat in commercial quantities sent for export. Unlike the RF where a system of large agricultural holdings was created, where modern production is organized with the yield of 40 centners per hectare, wheat yield in Kazakhstan is low (11-13 centners). It applies about three times less fertilizers than the RF. However, the country needs to meet its own demands in grain and send something for export.

The problem is that a large amount of land went away to obscure owners. According to my data, the check revealed that about one third of agricultural lands proved to belong to some unclear persons. Now, in the conditions when grain becomes one of the key export commodities, this situation became unbearable. It is not surprising that Tokayev puts things in order «as he sees fit», builds a more transparent ownership system.

The second reason is redistribution from the old clans to the new ones. Here the Russian experience of creating large private agricultural holdings looks quite good. Because it is necessary to buy the machinery, reorganize the production in a modern manner. So all this was expected and it is amazing that it happened just now and not a few years back.

Ц What is meant here is the withdrawal of large area plots on which wheat can be grown? The notorious 6 hundred square meters on which people built their little dachas will not be subjected to this process?

Ц Of course, not. There is no point at all. This concerns in the first place land plots of large area. High-ranking officials became large landowners there. Quite often they do not use this land at all and keep it just for the sake of having it. The fact that the land is vacant can be seen from the satellites. Kazakhstan even had to buy grain from the RF in order to then re-export and sell it on the markets of Central Asia.

The intention is to build the respective infrastructure and distribute the land for private construction and to farm enterprises. What is involved here is both the food security problem and the fact that export of hydrocarbons from Kazakhstan now is difficult for various reasons. Representatives of western companies met with Tokayev and told him that it is necessary to look for ways for domestic consumption. Cheap local diesel fuel may be used to make agricultural products and food is the key factor of stability in the entire Central Asia. Both Afghanistan and Iran are ready to consume grain from Kazakhstan.

Ц Does it mean that now transnational companies with checkered reputation, such as Monsanto, for instance, can come to Kazakhstan?

Ц No. Just the state tries to put things right. LetТs say it is a NEP policy.

Ц Kazakhstan has already given away practically all its oil and gas to the USA and the U.K. Now it can give away land to foreigners too?

Ц Even when a rumor was merely circulating that part of the land may be transferred to the Chinese, disturbances broke out in Kazakhstan. The so call Сland ralliesТ were held. The new edition of the constitution says that land and mineral resources belong to the people of Kazakhstan.

Tokayev started a land redistribution in Kazakhstan: motives. Moskovskij Komsomolets, 28.07.2022. https://www.mk.ru/politics/2022/07/28/tokaev-zateyal-zemelnyy-peredel-v-kazakhstane-nazvany-motivy.html

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Tokayev started a land redistribution in Kazakhstan: motives

28 July 2022

Moskovskij Komsomolets

Kazakhstan's Ministry of Agriculture reported that unused agricultural lands are returned to the state on a mass scale. During the 6 months of 2022 904 thousand hectares of land were withdrawn from the owners and nationalized (last year 430 thousand ha). In the new year plans are made to provide the return of another 5 million ha of unused agricultural lands into the state ownership.

Director on regional projects of the Caspian Institute of Strategic Studies Yuri Solozobov commented on the «Kazakhstani redistribution» specially for the «MK».

Ц Kazakhstan is one the three post-Soviet countries, along with Russian and Ukraine, that produces wheat in commercial quantities sent for export. Unlike the RF where a system of large agricultural holdings was created, where modern production is organized with the yield of 40 centners per hectare, wheat yield in Kazakhstan is low (11-13 centners). It applies about three times less fertilizers than the RF. However, the country needs to meet its own demands in grain and send something for export.

The problem is that a large amount of land went away to obscure owners. According to my data, the check revealed that about one third of agricultural lands proved to belong to some unclear persons. Now, in the conditions when grain becomes one of the key export commodities, this situation became unbearable. It is not surprising that Tokayev puts things in order «as he sees fit», builds a more transparent ownership system.

The second reason is redistribution from the old clans to the new ones. Here the Russian experience of creating large private agricultural holdings looks quite good. Because it is necessary to buy the machinery, reorganize the production in a modern manner. So all this was expected and it is amazing that it happened just now and not a few years back.

Ц What is meant here is the withdrawal of large area plots on which wheat can be grown? The notorious 6 hundred square meters on which people built their little dachas will not be subjected to this process?

Ц Of course, not. There is no point at all. This concerns in the first place land plots of large area. High-ranking officials became large landowners there. Quite often they do not use this land at all and keep it just for the sake of having it. The fact that the land is vacant can be seen from the satellites. Kazakhstan even had to buy grain from the RF in order to then re-export and sell it on the markets of Central Asia.

The intention is to build the respective infrastructure and distribute the land for private construction and to farm enterprises. What is involved here is both the food security problem and the fact that export of hydrocarbons from Kazakhstan now is difficult for various reasons. Representatives of western companies met with Tokayev and told him that it is necessary to look for ways for domestic consumption. Cheap local diesel fuel may be used to make agricultural products and food is the key factor of stability in the entire Central Asia. Both Afghanistan and Iran are ready to consume grain from Kazakhstan.

Ц Does it mean that now transnational companies with checkered reputation, such as Monsanto, for instance, can come to Kazakhstan?

Ц No. Just the state tries to put things right. LetТs say it is a NEP policy.

Ц Kazakhstan has already given away practically all its oil and gas to the USA and the U.K. Now it can give away land to foreigners too?

Ц Even when a rumor was merely circulating that part of the land may be transferred to the Chinese, disturbances broke out in Kazakhstan. The so call Сland ralliesТ were held. The new edition of the constitution says that land and mineral resources belong to the people of Kazakhstan.

Tokayev started a land redistribution in Kazakhstan: motives. Moskovskij Komsomolets, 28.07.2022. https://www.mk.ru/politics/2022/07/28/tokaev-zateyal-zemelnyy-peredel-v-kazakhstane-nazvany-motivy.html