Agribusiness and agriculture combine to comprise a critical sector of the Kazakh economy. The rich soil and climate (similar to the U.S. state of North and South Dakota and Nebraska) provide ideal conditions for growing wheat, barley, rice, corn, millet and buckwheat and raising livestock - especially American Black Angus. Kazakhstan’s major crops are wheat, barley, cotton, and rice. Kazakhstan is one of the top 10 grain exporters in the world, exporting to over 70 countries.
For a country with a long nomadic history, it is not surprising that stockbreeding is the traditional and dominant agricultural sector. No less than three quarters of all agricultural land is used for grazing. Sheep breeding is predominant, while cattle breeding and the raising of pigs, horses and camels are also well developed. Animal husbandry typically accounts for about 45-50 percent of the production value in agriculture in Kazakhstan. Primary meat products include beef, veal, chicken, horse, lamb, pork and rabbit.
The livestock sector is gradually growing. Meat production increased by 8% to 270,550 tonnes in 2018. Kazakhstan produced 535,501tonnes of milk in 2018, which is a 10% increase compared to 2017.
The Government provides subsidized loans to agricultural enterprises, subsidies for machinery upgrades and construction, state-funding of organizations developing veterinary and phytosanitary sectors, the provision of subsidies for industrial energy costs. It also waved import duties on farm equipment, raw materials and spare parts, and exemption from corporate income and property taxes. According to the 2018 data, international investors have tripled their activity in agricultural business since 2004.