Central Asia Program Series Economic Papers Publications

Kazakhstan’s Agriculture after Two Decades of Independence

Central Asia Economic Paper No. 6, January 2013

By Richard Pomfret

Kazakhstan is among the world’s ten leading grain exporters. The agricultural sector remains the major employer, and an important source of exports.

During the 1990s farming provided a safety net for many families during the transitional recession. At the same time, state support for agriculture was terminated and amid a tortuous land reform program many farms became heavily indebted.

With revenues from the oil boom the government has since 2002 provided substantial support, which has helped to revive farm output, but has also been inefficient in “picking winners.”

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