GFM Network News


Beware of Kazakhs wanting to buy seed, agency says

Seed growers and farmers alike are being warned such sales breach breeders' rights rules

Western Canadian seed growers, seed retailers and commercial farmers are being urged not to sell seed to Kazakhs or their agents because it breaches plant breeders’ rights rules. “The basic fact is no Canadian breeder has given permission for their genetics to go to Kazakhstan,” Lorne Hadley, executive director of the Canadian Plant Technology Agency, […] Read more

Kazakhstan’s president says farmland won’t be sold to foreigners

Almaty | Reuters — Kazakhstan will permanently ban sales of agricultural land to foreigners, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said on Friday, ending a long-running discussion about controversial land reform plans. Provisions that would have allowed foreign ownership of farmland prompted public protests throughout Kazakhstan in 2016. The government decided at the time to put off the […] Read more


Russia will suspend grain exports for six weeks if quota runs out mid-May

Several supplies to Egypt might be affected, traders say

Moscow | Reuters — Russia, the world’s biggest wheat exporter, will suspend grain exports until July 1 once its export quota is exhausted, which is currently expected to happen in mid-May, its deputy agriculture minister Oksana Lut said on Friday. Russia last fully banned wheat exports in 2010 when drought hit its harvest, rocking global […] Read more



Flax prices muted

MarketsFarm — Flax yields are expected to be average at harvest season, thanks to the combination of more seeded acres and inclement growing conditions. Export numbers have been lower in recent years, due in part to China having opted to import flax from other countries besides Canada. According to an early 2019 report from FarmLead, […] Read more



Canadian flax prospects dimmed by China’s silk road

Winnipeg | CNS – China’s construction of a new “silk road” connecting the country to Europe isn’t likely to be good news for Canadian flax exporters. For several years, Canada has been the main exporter of flax to China but that could likely change if Kazakhstan ever has a direct link to the China. “We […] Read more

Kazakh president meets farmland protests with reshuffle

Astana | Reuters — Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, facing opposition calls for a demonstration in the business centre Almaty, completed a government reshuffle initiated this week in response to street protests against farmland privatisation plans. Economy minister Yerbolat Dosayev and agriculture minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov, whose ministries were behind the planned land reform, both resigned after […] Read more


Kazakh leader evokes Ukraine as land protests spread

Almaty | Reuters –– Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, facing a growing wave of protests against planned changes to land ownership, evoked the image of war-torn Ukraine on Sunday as he called for national unity. Speaking at an event in Almaty to mark the annual May 1 Unity Day celebrations, Nazarbayev highlighted Ukraine, where street protests […] Read more

Kazakhstan land protests widen in challenge to leader

Almaty | Reuters — Hundreds of people staged street protests in two cities in Kazakhstan on Wednesday over land reform, Kazakh media and local activists reported, a rare act of defiance that could pose a challenge to the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The protests, a continuation of demonstrations that began on Sunday, were sparked […] Read more