ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev has asked members of the land-reform commission to explain to the population that there are no reasons to be afraid of leasing Kazakh farmland to Chinese, Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency reported.
The third meeting of the land-reform commission last Saturday discussed leasing of Kazakh agricultural land, including by foreigners.
Some members of the commission expressed concern that in case of leasing of Kazakh farmland by Chinese citizens, that land would suffer irreversible damages.
“I am against allowing foreigners using our land even as leaseholders,” said Vladislav Kosarev, secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan. “Tajiks, who have been leasing land to Chinese for seven years now, say they will never return to those fields since they now look like the Moon’s landscape.”
Another commission member, Mukhtar Taizhan, said that instead of leasing land to foreigners, it is necessary to create all conditions for Kazakh farmers could use this land.
The Kazakh government set up the commission to review the land-reform plans, and invited some opposition figures to join it, after opposition activists called for rallies to be held across the country to protest proposed changes to the Land Code that would allow farmland to be sold and would allow foreign investors to lease land for agricultural use for up to 25 years.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev on May 5 ordered to postpone the implementation of the controversial legislation until 2017.