Kazakhstan

kazakhstanKazakhstan is a country located both in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. It is ninth largest country in the world in terms of its land area, and was the last among the Soviet republics to declare independence, in 1991. The capital of Kazakhstan is Astana, and the largest city Almaty. The population of Kazakhstan is estimated at 16.455 million (2011), of which 46% is rural and 54% is urban, and highly diverse in terms of ethnicities. The population density, however, is less than 15 people per square mile. Kazakhstan is divided into 14 provinces (oblıstar). The provinces are sub-divided into districts (awdandar). Almaty, Astana and Baikonur cities are not part of any province as they enjoy a special status. The country’s climate comprises warm summers and colder winters, and the precipitation varies between arid and semi-arid conditions.

Context

Context

Kazakhstan is a resource-rich country. The most significant contributors to the national economy are oil and natural gas. Other exports include wheat (seventh largest producer of wheat in the world with yearly harvest of about15 million tons), textiles, livestock, and lately uranium. In 2007, the agriculture sector accounted for 5.82 percent of the GDP. Agricultural land occupies more than 23 million hectares, about 68 percent of which is considered as pasture and hay land. Main livestock products are dairy goods, leather, meat, and wool. Major products include wheat, barley, cotton, rice and poultry.

About half of the population is involved in agriculture. According to the Agricultural Register of the National Statistics Office, the 2003 data show the number of agricultural enterprise as 4,492, covering total of 11,900,000 hectares of arable land; the number of family farms are about 121,500 covering a total of 9,000,000 hectares; and household plots are about 1,831,600 covering a total of 250,000 hectares.

The privatization has doubled the number of family farms in 2003 as compared to that in 1998 and the arable land possessed by them has gone up from 19 percent to 42 percent. In 2003, family farms were producing 48 percent of the total agricultural output, including 26 percent of crop products and 87 percent of livestock products. These figures indicate rising number and importance of small farmers as potential target group for extension program planning purposes.

Some of the donors presently active in Kazakhstan include World Bank, FAO (mostly through regional projects and programs), UNDP, European Union, USAID, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and GTZ. The World Bank-financed Agricultural Competitiveness Project is the most relevant in terms of building the extension service of Kazakhstan.

Key Statistics and Indicators

Indicator

Value

Year  

Agricultural land (sq km)

Agricultural land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares)

Arable land (% of land area)

Arable land (hectares per person)

2,084,800

77.22

23,400,000

8.66

1.45

2009

2009

2009

2009

2009

Fertilizer consumption (Kg per hectare of arable land)

2.41

2009

Agriculture, value added (% of GDP)

Food production index (2004-2006 = 100)

Food exports (% of merchandise exports)

Food imports (% of merchandise imports)

5.26

109.59

3.81

8.50

2011

2010

2009

2009

GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$)

8220

2011

Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above)

Literacy rate, youth female (% of females ages 15-24)

Literacy rate, youth male (% of males ages 15-24)

Ratio of young literate females to males (% ages 15-24)

Ratio of female to male secondary enrollment (%)

99.67

99.85

99.77

100.08

97.33

2009

2009

2009

2009

2011

Mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people)

Internet users (per 100 people)

19,402,600

33.38

2010

2010

Population, total

Population density (people per sq. km of land area)

Rural population

Rural population (% of total population)

Agricultural population (% of total population)*

Total economically active population**

Total economically active population in agriculture*

Total economically active population in agriculture (in %

    of total economically active population)

Female economically active population in agriculture (% of

     total economically active population in agriculture)*

16,558,459

6.04

6,774,164

41.5

15.11

12,522,000

1,192,000

9.51

24.16

2011

2010

2010

2010

2010

2012 (February)

2010

2010

2010

Sources: The World Bank; *Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO,  ** LABORSTA

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History

History of extension and the enabling/disabling environment

Like in many former Soviet Union republics such as Bulgaria, Kazakhstan has also encouraged the distribution of previously state-owned farms among private owners, who have had no past experience in farm management. In the absence of comprehensive extension/advisory services, new farm owners in all categories have been facing difficulties in running their farms profitably. The collapse of old marketing system under which the former Soviet Union guaranteed marketing of produce from its republics, has also raised marketing issues. Kazakhstan does not yet have a full-fledged extension advisory service in conventional sense although the government has been trying to establish one.  

Starting in 2005, the government created several ad hoc State Owned Enterprises to promote the budding private sector. In 2007, the Ministry of Agriculture established KazAgro holding (KA) and KazAgroInnovations (KAI). The KA covers seven joint stock companies that provide services like extension, credit, leasing, bank guarantees for borrowing farmers, cereal reserves, etc. The KAI covers 25 agricultural research institutes which have as many as 1,200 scientists; out of them 19 institutes enjoy national mandate while six address regional issues.

The government wanting to provide extension services to its farmers as “public goods” assigned the responsibility to one of the State Owned Enterprises called KazAgro Marketing (KAM). KAM signed a contract with a World Bank-financed Agricultural Competitiveness Project (ACP) that started in 2005.

During the four years, 2005-2008, KAM provided advisory services, organized seminars, issued publications, and tried a fee-based service system. The achievements included: 1) introduction of an extension system for the first time in Kazakhstan; 2) sensitization of farmers to demand for extension services; and 3) provision of assistance to farmers and related institutions to start the Competitive Grant Scheme.

KAM’s approach, however, exhibited certain weaknesses. First, its organizational/staff/logistics costs were too high but very little was spent on services for farmers resulting in low impact. Second, it could not establish a sustainable system. Third, the benefits supposedly received by farmers remained fuzzy. Fourth, its financial and reporting procedures were less than transparent.   At the end of 2008, the World Bank project discontinued this contract with KAM.

During 2009 and 2010, the KazAgro Innovation (KAI) came up with a conceptual framework and the “strategy of the extension system development in the sphere of agriculture industry complex per 2010-2014”. The strategy was commented on by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and some of its components are currently being implemented on trial basis.

One of the four components of the Agricultural Competitiveness Project aimed at increasing the effectiveness of agricultural research and extension services, and it had a specific sub-component on agricultural extension. Although some progress was made towards clarifying the concept and dimensions of a possible extension system within the context of farmers’ needs and the country’s development strategy, yet the gains may at best be called a “work in progress”. The World Bank project is expected to close in 2012.  The most positive factor is that the government remains committed to providing effective extension services to its farmers.

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Extension Providers

Major institutions providing extension/advisory services

Public Institutions

Ministry of Agriculture

The Ministry of Agriculture is the organization responsible for providing public extension services to the farmers. The ministry performs this function through the KazAgroInnovation, which is a joint stock company (JSC).

KazAgroInnovation, JSC (KAI) 
KAI has prepared a strategy for establishing an extension system in Kazakhstan. The company gets its total funding from the government and to an extent may be considered as a semi-autonomous body, being governed by a Board of Directors. KAI is under KazAgro (KA), a National Management Holding that was created by a Presidential Decree in 2006. KAI’s international partners include Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (EMBRAPA), and Argentine National Institute for Agricultural Technology (INTA), Canadian Association of Holsteins, and International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Extension Development Department
An Extension Development Department has been created within KAI. Main objectives of the department are to develop an agricultural extension system to ensure the effective management of projects/programs to transfer knowledge, and to enhance the efficiency of agricultural training personnel. The department performs the following functions aimed at developing an agricultural extension system for Kazakhstan:

  • Preparation and participation in implementing systematic and institutional projects/programs;
  •  Coordination of activities of the Company (KazAgroInnovation) and its subsidiaries;
  • Monitoring and analysis;
  • Formation of proposals;
  • Development of internal regulatory documents;
  • Training and participation in the implementation of investment (innovation) projects/ programs on knowledge dissemination in agriculture;
  • Development of internal regulatory documents of a project/program management on agricultural extension system;
  • Monitoring the implementation of projects/programs of agricultural extension system;
  • Coordination with agriculturally-inclined universities to prepare agrarian staff. 

Regional Extension Centers
A network of six regional Extension Centers in Agriculture was established by KAI in 2009.  The locations of the centers were determined by the presence of the scientific research institutes, which are also administered by KAI. The centers organize field demonstrations of new technologies and equipment, keep track of the latest developments in agriculture, offer educational programs for farmers on specific agricultural topics, and organize national, regional and international conferences, seminars and roundtables on issues of agribusiness development.

All centers are equipped with residential training facilities including conference rooms, lecture halls, library, demonstration sites, machinery and equipment, laboratories, hostels, etc. Centers’ management staff comes from KAI while subject-matter specialists (such as research scientists and university professors) are drawn from the country and overseas.

The locations of the extension centers are as follows:

  • Ushkonyr, located in Merey village, close to the Kazakh Scientific Research Institute of Cultivation and Crop Production (22 km from Almaty);
  • Shortandy, located in Shortandy village, which is a part of Barayev Agricultural Institute and Grain Farming Scientific Center (60 km from Astana);
  • Kostanay, located in Zarechny village, which is a part of Kostanay Agricultural Scientific and Research Institute;
  • Tassay, located in Tassay village, which is a part of South-Kazakhstan South-West Scientific Research Institute of Animal and Crop Production;
  • Balkash, located in Almaty region;
  • Maktaaral, located in Southern Kazakhstan

Table 1: Human Resources* in Agricultural Extension in Kazakhstan as of August, 2012

No.

Extension Center

Position title

Number

1

Tassay                           (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Accountant

1

 

 

Manager

1

 

 

Facilities Cleaner

1

 

 

Sub-total

5

2

Ushkonyr                          (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Manager Demonstrations

1

 

 

Accountant

1

 

 

Demonstration Specialist

1

 

 

Steward

1

 

 

Facilities Cleaner

2

 

 

Security

4

 

 

Sub-total

12

3

Kostanay                             (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Accountant

1

 

 

Sub-total

3

4

Shortandy                            (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Centre

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Accountant

1

 

 

Sub-total

3

5

Balkhash                           (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Sub-total

2

6

Maktaral                          (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Sub-total

2

7

Oskemen                                (financed by BP 057)         

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Steward

1

 

 

Accountant

1

 

 

Security

4

 

 

Technical personnel

2

 

 

Sub-total

10

8

Kyzylzhar                           (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Total

2

9

Kyzylorda                           (financed by BP 057)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Manager for Workshop Organization

1

 

 

Sub-total

2

10

NemAC                          (financed by Germany)

Head of the Extension Center

1

 

 

Assistant Manager

1

 

 

Translator from German

1

 

 

Translator from English

1

 

 

Accountant

1

 

 

Steward

1

 

 

Administrator

1

 

 

Facilities Cleaner

1

 

 

Sub-total

8

 

Central Extension Department of KazAgroInnovation

Director

1

 

 

Chief Manager

1

 

 

Manager

1

 

 

Manager for Remote Consultation

1

 

 

Accountant

1

 

 

Education Manager

1

 

 

Sub-total

6

   

TOTAL

55 (including 26 women)

Source: Central Extension Department of KazAgroInnovation, Astana, Kazakhstan

*There were 13 consultants serving extension needs in addition to the number of staff given in the Table, whose funding came from the World Bank-financed Agriculture Competitiveness Project. However, these consultants were laid off with the end of the project on 1st of July 2012.

On-demand/on-farm Consultancies Program
Upon farmers’ demand, consultancies are arranged by the regional Extension Centers located at Shorthandy, Kostanay, Tassay and Ushkonyr. Subject-matter specialists to serve as consultants are obtained from the Extension Centers as well as from Scientific Research Institutes.

On-line Consulting and Call Center
Farmers may call a toll-free telephone number (59 91 90) or access the website and request technical assistance. The phone and the website are linked to Scientific Research Institutes.

List of Extension Providers

icon target The following list shows an excerpt from the GFRAS Directory of Extension Providers for Kazakhstan. Some of these entries may be specially marked for having more detailed information in the database of the Worldwide Extension Study WWES.

COM_FABRIK_ORDERName of extension organization COM_FABRIK_ORDERType of organisation City Country Worldwide Extension Study
No records

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Training

Training options for extension professionals

Kazakhstan has close to ninety universities; many of them offer degree programs in agriculture and related disciplines including agricultural extension. Examples of such universities are:

Many nationals are also given scholarship to enroll in overseas academic institutions especially those located in Russia. In addition, certain foreign universities, such as University of Maryland, have collaborative agricultural extension and training programs with the national universities.

In-service training of extension staff has many avenues. It may be organized at any of the regional Extension Centers, listed in a previous section, or if needed, at any of Scientific Research Institutes.  In addition, there are special training centers in the country. Examples are:

Almaty Agricultural Training Center (AATC)
AATC is located in downtown Almaty. It offers training programs for farmers, farm workers and fresh graduates of livestock and animal husbandry including production and marketing.

DAZ - German Agricultural Center in Kazakhstan
This DAZ is basically a project funded by the German Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). The East European Department of Hohenheim University in Germany is actively involved in the training center’s agricultural and livestock training programs for farm workers, specialists, managers, agricultural advisors and researchers. The center organizes extension activities and also provides support in cross-linking with the German agribusiness.

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ICT

Info-mediaries and information and communication technology (ict) for agriculture and extension

According to the World Bank, in 2010, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions in Kazakhstan was 121.06 (per 100 people). During the same year, the number of Internet users (per 100 people) in the country was 33.38. The Ministry of Communication and Information is a state body responsible for the development and implementation of ICT in Kazakhstan. The Government of Kazakhstan is committed to the development of ICT in the country, including the coverage of rural societies and agriculture sector, which is evident from the following:

  1. The government approved a program in 2001 aimed at developing necessary infrastructure for improvement of information and communication technologies. The Agency of Statistics also plans to conduct a national survey of the Internet users in households with the objective of expanding the use of the Internet in Kazakhstan. The issues highlighted in 2009 annual e-consultation meeting of the steering committee of the Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (CACAARI) included, among others, the needed coverage of small farmers including women, livestock sector, fisheries and agricultural research, education and extension. Major issues in the important area of agricultural extension requiring research were identified to be new type of extension services, farmer advisory services, use of ICT, and improving capabilities of extension agents.
  1. According to Kazakhtelecom, the biggest telecommunications operator in Kazakhstan, it has introduced CDMA450 technology in northern rural areas under a project. The technology base stations cover 25 to 35 km and can serve up to 1,000 subscribers. The project which began in 2008, had installed 399 base stations by 2010, providing connectivity to about 1,800 rural settlements. The project intends to roll out 900 base stations throughout the country by 2013, enabling voice and Internet access services up to 3.1 Mbps.
  1. In 2012, during the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a workshop was held on Kazakhstan as a side event, which was chaired by the vice-chairman of the governing board of JSC National ICT Holding “Zerde” of Kazakhstan, who is also chairman of the governing board of JSC National Information Technologies. Three presentations made included: (1) Kazakhstan: through the development of IT to the information society; (2) Development of Kazakhstan e-government; and (3) e-government portal – pushing keyboard buttons rather than state bodies. The achievements so far in the ICT adoption included: the state agency information system, national database, e-government gateway, national certification authority, system of electronic licensing, and payment gateway.
  1. An on-line consulting and call center for farmers has already been established by the Extension Development Department of KazAgroInnovation.

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Resources

Resources and references

Beisenova, A. (November 2010). Development of Information and Communication Technologies in Kazakhstan. PowerPoint presentation of JSC Economic Research Institute of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Kazakhstan.

Beniwal, SPS. (September 2009). CACAARI (Central Asia and the Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions). The Regional Report of Central Asia and the Caucasus for GCARD (Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development). PowerPoint presentation (Available at the Internet)

Government of Kazakhstan (no date). ICT policy and statistics in the Republic of Kazakhstan 

Hanson, J.C. and D.M. Johnson (September 8, 2009). Kazakhstan Agricultural Extension System: Recommendations for Success. Report prepared at the end of a consultancy visit

ITU (2012). WSIS Forum 2012 Outcome Document (Available at www.wsis.org/forum)

KazAgroInnovation JSC (2010). Strategy of the Extension System Development in the Sphere of Agriculture Industry Complex per 2010-2014. Astana: KazAgro Innovation

Leger, A. (2009). Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.  College Park: College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Maryland (Available at http://ipan.umd.edu/uzbekstan.cfm )

Qamar, M.K. (2010) Developing Extension Advisory System in Kazakhstan: A Look at Recent Global Trends in Extension Reform. Power Point presentation made at KazAgroInnovatsia Headquarter, Astana in June 2010

Qamar, M.K. (2010) Kazakhstan: Comments on the “Strategy of the Extension System Development in the Sphere of Agriculture Industry Complex per 2010-2014” outlined by  KazAgroInnovatsia; Presented in the Round Table on Extension organized by KazAgroInnovatsia in Astana, Kazakhstan on 23 June, 2010 under the World Bank-financed Agricultural Competitiveness Project

United States Department of Agriculture (2010). Kazakhstan Agricultural Review. Commodity Intelligence Report (Available at http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/highlights/2010/01/kaz_19jan2010/ 

World Bank (November 2010). ICT in Agriculture: Connecting Smallholders to Knowledge, Networks, and Institutions; e – Sourcebook. Report No. 64605     

World Bank (April 5, 2005). Project Appraisal Document on a Proposed Loan to the Republic of Kazakhstan for an Agricultural Competitiveness Project

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Feedback ?

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Thank you!

Acknowledgements

  • Authored by M. Kalim Qamar (August 2012)
  • Edited by Burton E. Swanson
  • The latest information on human resources in agricultural extension in Kazakhstan has been provided by Talgat Absattar, Head of Extension Department, JSC, KazAgroInnovation, Astana, Kazakhstan 

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