Mazhilis approves bill on land relations

Mazhilis of the Kazakh Parliament approved the draft law on land relations in first reading. An important paragraph of the document is a total ban on handing over the agricultural lands to foreigners. Both foreign companies and those enterprises and research centers with a foreign share will no longer be able to get and use farmlands. The new rules will also apply to stateless persons and legal entities intending to acquire private property.

“Kandas people can obtain land for private subsidiary farming, gardening and cottage construction. However, they can lease agricultural land only after obtaining Kazakh citizenship. The bill introduces amendments to the Land Code and three laws, including the Migration Law. The adoption of this bill will not have negative socio-economic and legislative consequences,” said Saparkhan Omarov, Kazakh Minister of Agriculture.

To date, foreigners continue to use Kazakh agricultural land. Minister of Agriculture Saparkhan Omarov said that those lands were obtained by them before the introduction of the moratorium. He clarified when the farmlands will be returned to the state.

“74,400 hectares of agricultural land have been leased to seven joint enterprises. In addition, two foreign legal entities are currently leasing 18,500 hectares of land. These are the lands that were acquired before the moratorium. Their lease term is from 2022 to 2025. Upon expiry, all these lands will be returned to the state,” said Saparkhan Omarov, Kazakh Minister of Agriculture.

Members of the Mazhilis, for their part, unanimously approved the document stating that the bill is a solution to the problematic issue that has been the subject of much debate for more than a century. The previously established Land Reform Commission will continue its work.