31 january 2023
3 min

Is there a need for an agricultural census in Kazakhstan?

Is there a need for an agricultural census in Kazakhstan?

Various farmers' unions and associations complain about the inaccuracy of statistics provided by the Ministry of Agriculture. Perhaps, for a more objective assessment of the industry it is necessary to conduct a census? World of NAN journalist looked into this question.

To begin with, let's find out why the branch's workers have one statistic and the Ministry of Agriculture has another. The only reason for it is a biased evaluation by the officials. Akimats constantly report on the development of the region. No one wants to show negative statistics, because it will be followed by criticism from higher-ups. That's why officials embellish the annual growth. Today we have reached the point where in some sectors the statistics diverge by millions.

For example, according to the estimates of milk processors, about 1.5 million tons of milk is delivered to the factories, and the official production figure is 4 million tons. Where did our officials get such a volume? This question is constantly asked by the milk processors, the very industry professionals, who know the real picture.

How to break this vicious circle? The only way to collect truly objective data is to conduct a national agricultural census. But here, too, comes the risk of official manipulation. That is why the final data must be in the hands of people interested in a reliable assessment of regional development. What would be the purpose of such an assessment?

Suppose, in the case of a census, it turns out that the volume of milk production is much lower. Then the government will have to start stimulating the dairy industry more, i.e. increase subsidies or attract investors. And such an analysis could be done in every sector of agriculture.

Thus, an objective assessment will help to influence the development of agriculture, and the most efficient use of financial resources. Entrepreneurs will also benefit from accurate statistics. For example, farmers and investors will know which regions are more promising for launching agro-processing facilities or opening a farm, etc.

Unfortunately, since 2010, the government abolished the norm according to which the agricultural census is conducted. And for nothing! Because some of the officials' reports baffle industry experts. Hiding the real picture compounds any problem, and in the future we can arrive at irreparable consequences.