Kazakhstan Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Agriculture and fishing

Extensive cultivation areas have made Kazakhstan a major grain producer. Wheat is the most important crop. The Kazakhs’ traditional nutrition, animal breeding, is still important. Agriculture’s share of GDP has fallen from around one-third in 1991 to just under one-twentieth today.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Kazakhstan. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

The huge new cultivation project in Kazakhstan in the 1950s (see Modern history) was focused on wheat cultivation. Wheat is grown mainly in the north, usually without irrigation. The harvest varies greatly from year to year, depending on the weather. Two years out of five, the country is usually affected by severe drought. Desert proliferation is a serious problem and is considered to threaten two-thirds of Kazakhstan with a predominantly dry climate.

In the south, where the soil is irrigated, sugar beets, rice, tobacco, vegetables, fruit and cotton are grown. For Kazakhstan defense and foreign policy, please check recipesinthebox.

Pastures occupy just over two-thirds of the country’s surface. In livestock management, meat is the largest product, followed by milk and other dairy products as well as wool and hides. Cattle are raised in the north and northeast, sheep, goats and camels in the south and horses especially in the east. Attempts have been made to revert to something similar to the old-fashioned habitat management, but the landscape has changed, partly through cultivation, so that it can hardly be nomadized anymore.

After independence, over 95 percent of agriculture was privatized. In the majority of cases, the former managers became new owners who run the business in cooperatives, limited companies or other types of companies. Individual family farms hardly exist.

In the Caspian Sea, among other things, fish are fished, which gives genuine Russian caviar. Previously, large quantities of fish were also caught in Lake Aral, but as the lake shrunk and the water became saltier, almost all fish disappeared. After a successful attempt to save the lake, fishing has increased in the northern, “small” Aral Sea (see also Natural Resources, Energy and Environment).


Agriculture’s share of GDP

4.2 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

80.4 percent (2016)

  • Abbreviationfinder.org: Offers how the 3-letter acronym of KAZ stands for the state of Kazakhstan in geography.



Cooperation agreements with the EU enter into force

The Agreement on Economic and Political Cooperation with the EU (see October 2014) enters into force since it was signed by the EU “Foreign Minister” and Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister.

Former prime minister is imprisoned

Former Prime Minister Serik Achmetov (2012–2014) is sentenced to ten years in prison for embezzlement and misuse of state funds. The sentence is later relieved to eight years.


The governor gets fired

The head of the central bank is dismissed as a result of the country’s currency ten- sion losing one-third of its value against the US dollar since the fixed exchange rate was abolished (see August 2015).


President’s daughter is promoted

President Nazarbayev appoints his 52-year-old daughter Darigha as Deputy Prime Minister. She has most recently been the Deputy Speaker of Parliament.


Kazakhstan will start a nuclear fuel bank

Kazakhstan signs an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to launch the world’s first internationally controlled nuclear fuel bank. The purpose of the bank is to guarantee fuel for nuclear power plants around the world and reduce the risk of illegal distribution of uranium. Bank will be administered by the IAEA and will contain up to 90 tonnes of low enriched uranium from 2017.

Billion loans are obtained

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) grants Kazakhstan a $ 1 billion loan.

The currency collapses in value

The central bank abandons the fixed exchange rate and allows the country’s currency to float, resulting in it immediately dropping 26 percent of its value against the US dollar. The Kazakh economy has been under severe pressure ever since the bond was devalued by 19 percent in February 2014. Falling oil prices are the main cause of the strained economy. In addition, the domestic market has been inundated by cheap Russian goods since the Russian ruble began to fall heavily in value. President Nazarbayev explains the transition to a floating exchange rate with demands from export companies. The President also urges the government to henceforth build its budget on an estimated oil price of $ 30-40 per barrel.


Kazakhstan enters the WTO

The World Trade Organization (WTO) announces that negotiations with Kazakhstan have been completed. Kazakhstan formally joins the WTO at a ceremony in Geneva.


The president “regrets” the grand victory

Nazarbayev, who is now entering his fifth term as president, “apologizes” for the high vote share he received and acknowledges that the election results would be unacceptable in “super-democratic countries”. He says, however, that it would have been undemocratic for him to try to influence the outcome.

The president re-elected without opposition

President Nursultan Nazarbayev is re-elected with 97.7 percent of the vote in an election where the opposition parties are not running for candidates. Observers from the European Security and Cooperation Organization say that no real alternatives have existed and that the electoral movement has been characterized by lack of freedom of expression and media freedom.


Presidential elections are announced in advance

Presidential elections are announced until April 26. It would have been held towards the end of 2016, but President Nazarbayev explains the premise that the election should not come too close to the parliamentary elections to be held in early 2017. One reason is also believed to be that Nazarbayev wants a renewed mandate to better manage the economic problems caused by the falling oil price.


Ex-Soviet cooperation comes into force

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) enters into force on New Year’s Day. From the beginning, the organization consists of Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus. Armenia will formally enter into force on 2 January, while Kyrgyzstan will become a full member in May, provided that the country’s parliament has finally approved the agreement beforehand (see also Foreign Policy and Defense).

Kazakhstan Agriculture and Fishing