The findings, published by the Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO), claimed that Kazakhstan was becoming widely regarded as a key player on world agricultural markets, with considerable potential in the beef, dairy and wheat sectors.
At present the government is focusing efforts on providing subsidised credit to the agricultural sector, but the IAMO study recommended other measures to help improve the country’s agricultural performance, ranging from infrastructure changes through to improving the knowledge and skills of farmers on the ground.
Martin Petrick, agricultural economist and one of the report’s authors, said the beef and dairy sectors suffered from being fragmented, with small-scale producers struggling to integrate with high-value processing and retail outlets.
He said the Kazakhstani government needed to have more involvement in the modernisation of the country’s agriculture sector: "Successful agribusiness entrepreneurs require more than, or even something other than, cheap access to inputs and capital, namely effective institutional arrangements at the local level."
For instance, the know-how of individual farmers should be improved, he added, while the land market liberalised and private storage capacity should be extended. Moreover, local governments should play a facilitating role in the sustainable management of public grazing land, and food quality and safety standards should be gradually tightened.