Arctic: ecology and economy
ISSN 2223-4594
Home ї Archive of journals ї Issue 4(40) 2020 ї Transformation of reindeer farming under the market economy conditions (on the example of Yamal)


JOURNAL: 2020, є4(40), p. 139-150

HEADING: The quality and standard of living of North Indigenous Peoples

AUTHORS: Yuzhakov A.A., Detter G.F.

ORGANIZATIONS: Northwest Center for Interdisciplinary Problems of Food Security, Scientific Center for the Study of the Arctic of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region

DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-4-139-150

UDC: 332.14:636.294

The article was received on: 31.07.2020

Keywords: northern reindeer herding, Yamal peninsula, family and clan farms, private reindeer farmers, reindeer products, transformation of reindeer farming, reindeer pastures

Bibliographic description: Yuzhakov A.A., Detter G.F. Transformation of reindeer farming under the market economy conditions (on the example of Yamal). Arctic: ecology and economy, 2020, no. 4(40), pp. 139-150. DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-4-139-150. (In Russian).


The authors investigate the economic transformation of reindeer farming in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District. The region is unique for having the largest number of domesticated reindeer and nomadic indigenous peoples in the world. The conceptual basis of the research is the idea of reindeer farming as a unique biosocial system, including the triad “man-reindeer-pasture”. The study analyzes the historical, social and economic transformations of reindeer farming in the region, where at least 60% of the private livestock of domesticated reindeer in the Arctic zone of Russia have always grazed. An increase in the number of reindeer was observed in private farms even during the years of economic crisis, reforms and industrial development of the territory. Private reindeer farmers belong to former sovkhozs (post-state farms), communities and unassociated “private” owners. Only half of the reindeer farming communities are registered in the state register and receive subsidies for the sale of products. Post-state farms have government subsidies that are significantly higher than reindeer farming communities, which increases the cost of their production two to three times. “Private traders” do not receive subsidies to increase the number of reindeer and the products they sell. The liberalization of the economy lifted restrictions on private reindeer farms, and their quantitative growth exceeded the norms permissible for pastures. At the same time, private reindeer farms produce almost 70% of marketable products, primarily meat, dags and antlers. Only 36% of personal subsidiary plots are included in legal entities, which makes it difficult to organize the regulated use of pastureland in the region. The administration of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, together with scientific and public organizations, has developed a conceptual plan for the reorganization of private reindeer farms into peasant (farmer) enterprises. A register of producers is being created to allocate state and municipal subsidies. It is planned to speed up the cooperation of private farms in order to improve their manageability. There is a process of reducing the number of post-state farms in order to focus reindeer farming mainly on preserving the traditional way of life and reproducing the ethno-culture of the Arctic indigenous peoples.


1. Sever i severyane: Sovremennoe polozhenie korennykh malochislennykh narodov Severa, Sibiri i Dal’nego Vostoka Rossii. [The North and northerners. Current situation of the indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and the Russian Far East]. Otv. red. N. I. Novikova, D. A. Funk. Moscow, Izd. IEA RAN, 2012, 204 p. (In Russian).

2. Loginov V. G. Olenevodstvo kak bazovaya otrasl’ traditsionnogo sektora APK Severa. [Reindeer husbandry as a basic branch of the traditional agricultural sector of the North]. Agrar. vestn. Urala, 2014, no. 11 (129), pp. 74—77. (In Russian).

3. Golovnev A. V., Abramov I. V. Oleni i gaz: strategii razvitiya Yamala. [Reindeer and gas: development strategies of Yamal]. Vestn. arkheologii, antropologii i etnografii, 2014, no. 4 (27), pp. 122—131. (In Russian).

4. Yuzhakov A. Fenomen nenetskogo olenevodstva. [The phenomenon of Nenets reindeer sbandry]. Mir korennykh narodov. Zhivaya Arktika, 2005, no. 17, pp. 82—87. (In Russian).

5. Yuzhakov A. A., Mukhachev A. D. Etnicheskoe olenevodstvo Zapadnoi Sibiri: nenetskii tip. [Ethnic reindeer herding in Western Siberia: the Nenets type]. Novosibirsk, Izd-vo SO RASKhN, 2001, 112 p. (In Russian).

6. Klokov K. B. Sovremennoe polozhenie olenevodov i olenevodstva v Rossii. [Current situation of reindeer herders and reindeer husbandry in Russia]. Sever i severyane: Sovremennoe polozhenie korennykh malochislennykh narodov Severa, Sibiri i Dal’nego Vostoka Rossii. IEA RAN. Moscow, 2012, pp. 38—50. (In Russian).

7. Lashov B. V. Severnye etnosy i traditsionnoe khozyaistvo. [Northern ethnic groups and traditional economy]. Izv. Rus. geogr. o-va, 2013, vol. 145, iss. 6, pp. 14—18. (In Russian).

8. Yuzhakov A. A. Lichnye oleni kak faktor sokhraneniya olenevodstva. [Personal deer as a factor of conservation of reindeer husbandry]. Agroprom. politika Rossii, 2017, no. 3, pp. 65—69. (In Russian).

9. Yuzhakov A. A. Vozmozhnosti sokhraneniya sotsiobiosistemy “chelovek-olen’-pastbishche” v Arkticheskoi zone. [The possibilities of maintaining sociabiosystem “man-reindeer-pasture” in the Arctic]. Biosfer. khoz-vo: teoriya i praktika, 2020, no. 1 (19), pp. 5—12. (In Russian).

10. Kornilov G. G. Naselenie Yamala v 1959—1989 gg.: istoriko-demograficheskii analiz. [Population of Yamal in 1959—1989: historical and demographic analysis]. Avtoref. dis. ... kand. ist. nauk. Ekaterinburg, 2010,— 26 p. (In Russian).

11. Zuev S. M., Kibenko V. A., Sukhova E. A. Sotsial’no-ekonomicheskie faktory zhiznedeyatel’nosti kochevogo naseleniya Yamalo-Nenetskogo avtonomnogo okruga. [Socio-economic factors of the nomadic population of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous district]. Vestn. Tyumen. gos. un-ta. Ser. Sots.-ekon. i pravovye issled, 2017, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 33—44. (In Russian).

12. Kharyuchi G. P. Traditsionnoe i sovremennoe v zhizni nenetskogo naroda. [Traditional and modern in the life of the Nenets people]. Nentsy Yamala: kochevniki i khraniteli traditsii. Tyumen’; Salekhard, Feliks, 2005, pp. 8—88. (In Russian).

13. Martynova E. P. Yamal’skie nentsy i industrial’noe razvitie: novatsii v olenevodstve i rybolovstve. [Yamal Nenets and industrial development: innovations in reindeer husbandry and fishing]. Ural. ist. vestn., 2015, no. 2 (47), pp. 90—97. (In Russian).

14. Detter G. F. Ekonomika severnogo olenevodstva Yamala: problemy i vozmozhnosti. [Yamal reindeer husbandry economy: challenges and opportunities]. Nauch. vestn. YaNAO, 2017, no. 4 (97), pp. 4—17. (In Russian).

15. Detter G. F. Strategii severnogo olenevodstva Gydana i Yamala: ot sokhraneniya k ustoichivomu tekhnologicheskomu razvitiyu. [Strategies for reindeer husbandry in Gydan and Yamal: from conservation to sustainable technological development]. Nauch. vestn. YaNAO, 2019, no. 1 (102), pp. 12—21. (In Russian).

16. Tundru v Komi tak i ne podelili. [The tundra in Komi Republic is not shared]. Available at: http://finugor.ru/news/tundru-v-komi-tak-i-ne-podelili-mezhdu-rassorivshimisya-olenevodami. (In Russian).

17. Pilyasov A. N., Kibenko V. A. Fenomen pred­pri­ni­ma­tel’­stva v olenevodstve Yamalo-Nenetskogo avtonomno­go okruga: situatsii, paradoksy i protivorechiya, vybor budushchego. [The phenomenon of entrepreneurship in reindeer husbandry of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous district: situations, paradoxes and contradictions, choice of the future]. Arktika: ekologiya i ekonomika, 2020, no. 1 (37), pp. 122—137. DOI: 10.25283/2223-4594-2020-1-122-137. (In Russian).

18. Istomin K. V. Post-Soviet Reindeer Herders: Between Family and Collective Herding. Region: Regional studies of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 2020, vol. 9, pp. 25—52. DOI: 10.1353/reg.2020.0005.

Download »

© 2011-2021 Arctic: ecology and economy
DOI 10.25283/2223-4594