FAO is helping Kazakhstan transition to better pasture management, World of NAN reports.
Under an agreement with an FAO regional project, the Union of Field Farmers of Kazakhstan has begun consultations with farmers and local executive bodies on effective pasture management.
Almasbek Sadyrbayev, chairman of the Kazakhs Association of Livestock Breeders, is positive about the programme.
"Today there is already a degradation of pastures and soil. When I was a member of the Land Commission, we conducted soil tests in North Kazakhstan, East Kazakhstan, Akmola, and Almaty Regions. The results were dismal, approximately 50% lower humus content in the soil," said Almasbek Sadyrbayev.
Also according to him there is an acute problem with weeds today. In particular, the speaker noted the weed mat-grass, which, in his opinion, needs about 12 years to be eradicated.
"To stop the degradation of the soil it is necessary to carry out repeated work to improve and restore pastures. This is a whole range of activities. At the same time, science should go first", - explained the representative of cattle breeders.
It's worth noting that under the FAO program, specialists from the UN agricultural organization have plans to assess and study pastures in Karagandy and Almaty regions. On their basis they will develop recommendations to improve pasture management and pass them to local executive bodies.
But will it have an effect? According to Almasbek Sadyrbayev, local bodies are not always interested in pasture management issues. Therefore, it's not worth waiting for any significant progress.
"The law on pastures is of course very good compared to what it was before. But for some reason, this law does not work! This is of course my subjective opinion. But I have personally seen the results of it. It does not work because the control over the implementation of this law and all the levers are brought to the local elected bodies, i.e. to the maslikhats. And they are not interested, they do not get money for it. I myself appealed to several district maslikhats that they made a decision on the allocation of pastures. And what do you think? They didn't achieve anything!", said the chairman of the Association of Livestock Breeders very emotionally.
The irritation of the expert is quite clear, because one of the main principles of the legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan on pastures is the availability of pastures to individuals and legal entities. But the experience of Almasbek Sadyrbayev showed quite the opposite.
"All the criticism that the population has today about the land issues, in the percentage of 80 per cent concerns pastures. The majority of the residents of villages say: 'We don't have any pastures - everything was given away'," he explained.
In order to solve these problems and begin active work on pasture conservation, the law needs to be changed, Almasbek said.
"It is necessary to transfer the responsibility for pasture distribution into the hands of civil servants, or into the hands of the same deputies, but there should be clear control. That is, if they have not defined pastures or not done other work, let them be deprived of their mandates, because they have not fulfilled their duties," the chairman of the board of the Association of Livestock Breeders expressed his opinion.
Almasbek Sadyrbayev is very concerned about the land issue. It is worth noting that he was included in the creative group of the law-making process concerning pastures. He promises to take an active part in it. And World of NAN will monitor the process, and report on the state of affairs.