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Home Archive of journals No. 1(37) 2020 The entrepreneurship phenomenon in the Yamal reindeer farming: assessment of the situation, paradoxes and contradictions, choice of the future


JOURNAL: No. 1(37) 2020, p. 122-135

HEADING: Regional problems

AUTHORS: Pilyasov, A.N., Kibenko, V.A.

ORGANIZATIONS: Institute for Regional Consulting, Scientific Center for the Study of the Arctic of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region

DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-1-122-137

UDC: 332.14:636.294

The article was received on: 05.09.2019

Keywords: Arctic enterprise, Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region, state support, nomad entrepreneurs, tragedy of communes, new model of the reindeer farming development

Bibliographic description: Pilyasov, A.N., Kibenko, V.A. The entrepreneurship phenomenon in the Yamal reindeer farming: assessment of the situation, paradoxes and contradictions, choice of the future. Arctic: ecology and economy, 2020, no. 1(37), pp. 122-135. DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-1-122-137. (In Russian).


The paper considers the development of domestic reindeer farming in the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region over the past 30 years in terms of an entrepreneurial paradigm: as a result of the individual efforts of thousands of reindeer-breeder families that together own almost 60% of all domestic reindeer in the region. Within the “continuum” of nomadic entrepreneurs, two poles are identified: the one — absolutely economically independent and the other — completely dependent on state support for entrepreneurs: behavior patterns, cultural values, even nomadic routes in the first and the second ones are radically different. Among the three main areas of reindeer farming in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region, the Yamal district is characterized by a “meat” model, while the Tazovsky and Priuralsky districts are characterized by an “antler model” of small entrepot. Both models determine the differences between the districts in terms of size, dynamics and structure of the herd, length of nomadic routes, structure of income from the production activities of the nomadic household. Unlike the dominant point of view blaming “irresponsible” reindeer-breeders for the depletion of pastures, the authors of the article see the problem primarily as an institutional one — the outcome of public policy institutions that created wrong incentives for reindeer-breeder entrepreneurs in recent decades, returning them to the status of hired reindeer-breeders equal to the state farm workers. The authors propose definite reforms in the Yamal reindeer farming that will ensure not a half-way but a decisive transition to an entrepreneurial model in the industry. Therefore the existing system of state support should stop seeing in the family business of reindeer breeders just a smaller copy of the former large enterprise, but accept new economic interests, motivations and economic behavior of the Yamal tundra entrepreneurs. An algorithm is proposed for radical reform of the existing system of state support for the industry.

Finance info: The research was funded by the RFBR grant No. 16-46-890363 p_a Arctic Entrepreneurship as a Factor of Sustainable Development of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region and the RSF grant No. 19-18-00005 Eurasian Vectors of Russias Maritime Economic Activity: Regional Economic Perspectives.


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DOI 10.25283/2223-4594