Review of Agriculture and Agro-Industry Sector in Kazakhstan

Agriculture in Kazakhstan
Although the share of agriculture (and agro-industry) out of GDP is only 8 percent, agriculture (and agro-industry) is a very important sector in Kazakhstan, since over 40 percent of population still resides in rural areas and 20 percent of labor is employed by the agricultural sector.

Kazakhstan is one of the world’s largest grain producer and exporter. The main grain crop is wheat. It is specialized in the cattle-breeding and fruit-growing. Livestock production accounts for about 40 percent of the agricultural production in value. Livestock production has been a key economic activity in Kazakhstan for centuries and will continue to be a major source of employment, food supply, and income for the rural population. The production of meat and milk satisfies domestic demand, while vegetables and fruits partially satisfy domestic demand because of the logistic difficulties associated with transportation and storage.

Agricultural input industry such as agricultural machinery, fertilizer and agro-chemicals have not been developed due to the lack of investment. Thus, the availability of agricultural input is too low, limiting yield increase across all agricultural sectors.

Food processing in Kazakhstan is one of the strategically important industry in provisioning high quality food for the population. Food processing industry consists of more than 30 specialized sectors, sub sectors and separate manufactures. It includes about 5,151 plants and manufacturers, 80 percent of which are small and medium–size enterprises. The SMEs employs 69.4 thousand people that is 10.3 percent of total employees in all industries of the country.

The major segments of food processing industry include flour-and-cereals, meat processing, dairy, fruits and vegetables processing. Flour and cereals account for 74.3 percent of the total enterprises in terms of the number of enterprises.

Table 1. Distribution of Agro-industry by Commodity Types in Kazakhstan, 2004
Sectors of Agro-Industry
Ratio (%)
Flour and cereal
and vegetable processing
Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Kazakhstan

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