Agricultural development is central to Auyl candidate for Kazakh president

NUR-SULTAN – Auyl People’s Democratic Patriotic Party candidate Toleutai Rakhimbekov, who is running for president in Kazakhstan’s upcoming election, will focus on developing the agricultural industry, equal opportunities for rural citizens and promoting traditional values, according to his recently announced platform.

Toleutai Rakhimbekov. Photo credit: tengrinews.kz.

Improving agriculture takes centre stage, encompassing his stance on the economy, development and science.

Rakhimbekov considers agroindustry key to modernising the country, saying it can provide “a significant multiplying effect for the economy.” The platform states the goals should include both completely meeting Kazakhstan’s demand and working on exporting agriproducts. The goal can be reached with affordable agricultural leasing policies, as well as greenhouse development.

“Kazakhstan’s agroindustry must become capable of ensuring food security and leading in the global environmentally-friendly products market,” states the platform.

The programme proposes improving the infrastructure to procure, process and sell agricultural products; developing trade and improving agricultural production mechanisms. Complexes to produce, store and process livestock products should help develop Kazakhstan’s exports, according to the platform. Grants should also be provided for new farmers.

Agricultural science is also emphasised as an important element in developing the industry. Rakhimbekov intends to develop and implement mechanisms for agrarian business/scientist communication, as well as tools to implement resource-saving, innovative and climatic green technologies for cultivating crops, genomic selection of cattle and biological methods of plant protection.

“The agroindustry should move to a new technological level, to intelligent systems of mineral fertilisers and plant protection products and to digital technologies,” states the platform.

The party’s social policies are directed at minimising the inequality between urban and rural citizens, as, the platform argues, “[they] should serve the development of each and everyone.” The goal would be achieved by developing rural infrastructure and implementing improvement measures for villagers’ living standards, teaching them practical skills to organise their own businesses and providing access to “long and cheap money.” Other sources of support are optimising social assistance, improving medical services and determining the main rural development trends and needs.

Rakhimbekov’s youth policy, like his other social policies, offers an “actual social guarantee” for youth which also focuses on issues pertaining to rural citizens. Specifically, he is offering to teach them skills relevant for rural areas, create a special jobs bank and provide social housing and zero interest student loans with obligations of returning to work in the rural area.

“Young people should not leave the village, but, to the contrary, having received an education, should live in their small homeland in order to change the reality for the better, creating comfortable living conditions in the village,” notes the platform.

Rakhimbekov’s campaign also stresses keeping traditional values intact.

“The development of modern Kazakhstan is impossible without taking into account the history and culture of the people, without understanding the origins of ethnic development, the priority spiritual and moral values of our culture,” states the platform.

Born in the Karaganda region, Rakhimbekov, 55, graduated from Kazakh Agricultural Institute in 1986 and received a law diploma from Buketov Karaganda State University in 2001. Before the party nominated him as its candidate, he was appointed April 16 as head of the National Agrarian Research and Education Centre, which includes three agricultural universities and 23 research institutes. He is known in Kazakhstan for being active on social media.