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Research explores farm size, specialization and production strategy amongst cattle farmers in south-eastern Kazakhstan

02 February 2022

Within the research conducted in the ANICANET project, an international team of researchers, including an IAMO Central Asia Group member, explored the patterns of production in Kazakhstan’s traditionally nomadic livestock sector, focusing on the beef sector, and based on original survey data and in-depth interviews from a livestock-producing area in south-eastern Kazakhstan.

The authors found that instead of specializing and intensifying Kazakhstan's larger livestock farms tend to be highly diversified in terms of stock species are more mobile and provide fewer supplements per head than smaller farms. Although winter pastures appear to be a key resource associated with larger operations, larger farms face barriers to intensification, while smallholders lack access to winter pasture bases or cropland for growing supplements. In terms of policy, high transaction costs associated with leaseholds and lack of transferability between farmers impede access to land. Current pasture access mechanisms and institutions almost entirely exclude small farms and households. The authors argue that changes in these systems, combined with infrastructure development, may bring economic, social, and environmental benefits for the livestock sector and rural communities.

This article can be accessed via the journal Pastoralism: