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Kazakh Zerno - News and analysis of cereals

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Kazakhstan: How officials rob farmers
Monday, 25 September 2017 10:27

Not only difficult weather conditions keep farmers from their work on the ground, but also officials. In the documents for the rent of agricultural land, there is the requirement - it is mandatory to order the project of land regulation (LR). It, according to the idea, should benefit both the plowland and the peasant himself, allowing working efficiently. In fact, it turns out that farmers are boned large sums of money simply for a formal note, which has no value.

The lack of qualified agronomists is one of the acute problems of Kazakhstan's agriculture. To face in practice with the ugly manifestation of this shortage multiplied by excessive bureaucracy, happened to Nicholay Yushchenko, the head of the scientific department of the Karaganda Research Institute of Plant Growing and Breeding, said the correspondent of "KazakhZerno.kz" edition. He, who is one of the few qualified specialists in the field in the region, was handed in several LR projects for examination, prepared by private organizations that worked in this profitable field. The study of the papers plunged Nikolay Yushchenko into perplexity.

"It's just a robbery of the peasants," he says. - These projects are worth a lot of money, but in the form in which they are being manufactured, there will be no point from them to farms. Once there was a land management institute in our region, which was engaged in such projects, and did it well. In the scheme boundaries and specialization of lands were clearly marked - where arable land, where radical improvement, where pastures. Also important information was introduced for the farm: depending on the soil, where and what is more profitable to sow, what crop rotations to apply to preserve the fertility of arable land, and so on. Even the optimal road layout was indicated, in order to minimize transportation costs. But what I saw right now is just a formal answer. In LLPs, engaged in the manufacture of these projects, there are no specialists now. And that's what they do: they simply copy common places from some other projects. Up to the point that I came across a description of the land plot in Bukharzhyrau district, which was written off from some land plot in Nurinsky district. They did not even bother to change the name of the regional centre! There is a replication with one goal - to get money from the peasants.

It turns out that the only meaning of this paper now is to show it to the official in case of verification. Pure bureaucracy. Inspections are quite possible - liability of farmers for "irrational land use" is stipulated in the legislation. The farmer's work may well be recognized as irrational simply on the basis of his lack of a LR project. However, Nikolay Yuschenko notes that it is precisely the work on unqualified schemes, replicated in LLPs that can lead to damage to arable land.

"In the projects that I evaluated, incorrect recommendations on crop rotation are introduced," the agronomist says. -They are absolutely not grounded by any realities, written at random. They do not take into account neither the composition of the soil, nor other conditions of farming. And if the farmer follows this advice, he can harm the fertility of the land, and he will not get a good harvest.

At the same time, production men working on the ground, and not in the offices, in principle consider it unnecessary to require LR projects from peasants who have small land plots. They believe that it is necessary to change requirements and remove this obligation from small farms.

"If the farm has 200 hectares of arable land, why does it need this project?" - asks Manat Kurmangaliev, head of the agriculture department of Bukharzhyrau region. - But in regulatory documents such an obligation is indicated for everyone. Even for those who have 40 to 50 hectares of land. In this area, what kind of land regulation can be done? The project includes many parameters: what crops to alternate, what processing technologies to use, what techniques to use. In theory, this is a deep document for a large farm. Therefore, I believe that it has meaning only for those who have at least 3 thousand hectares. For the rest, in my opinion, crop rotation diagram is enough. This is a simpler document that reflects data that is really important for each farm, even small ones - what crops to alternate on the ground so that it does not lose fertility. The scheme is easier to manufacture, and it is cheaper, most farms can afford it.

However, there is little hope that the order will be changed. After all, the aforementioned LLPs, issuing meaningless pieces of paper, work under the auspices of state structures. And this business brings them good profit. No one is going to refuse it, continuing to fill their pockets at the expense of the peasants.

"I was approached by an agronomist of one of the farms," - said Nikolay Yushchenko. - He said that he wanted to write the LR project himself, with a competent approach to land use and economic justification. But he was told that no one would accept such a paper - one must always go to LLPs."

His comments on the projects, the expertise of which he held, Nikolay Yushchenko passed to the regional land department. They will now decide what to do with these documents - to give up and accept unqualified papers, or to return the bad developers for objective reasons. The choice is not easy, because there are simply no alternatives for the peasants.

Sergey Buyanov

"KazakhZerno.kz" newspaper

 
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