The agriculture of Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous District is an under-developed branch of local economy. It takes only 0.6% of total amount of investments and provides only 0.04% of the all-Russian agricultural production. At the same time the agricultural sector of YaNAD economy is rather efficient. Thus, in 1997 the percentage of tractors in good working order was 79% (average for Russia - 62%) and of trucks in good working order - 90% (average for Russia - 63%). The fodder reserves per head of cattle in 1997 in YaNAD was 1.89 tons, while average for Russia - only 0.98 tons per head.
The natural and climatic conditions of this region caused the development first of all of the traditional trades - reindeer breeding, hunting, fishery and fur farming. Mostly the representatives of indigenous population are busy in these trades. The reindeer breeding gives 92% of local agricultural production. Few cattle-breeding farms are working in the valley of Ob river.
In 1996 the total amount of cattle and poultry sold was 8430 tons, milk production - 5031 tons, eggs - 800 thousand, potatoes - 3012 tons, vegetables - 1165 tons.
In the pre-war years fishery was the leading branch of the local economy. The rein breeding as an economic basis of Autonomous District developed in the direction of its products' marketability increasing, the raising of meat and hides procurements amount and the improvement of business indices (grown-up reindeer preservation, young animals rearing, the rise of female deer number and the barrenness decreasing).
The fur procurements were growing even faster - ten times in 1940 comparing with 1931. The first industrial and hunting post - Poluisky - was created in 1934. A year later the 150 muskrats were released on the territory of this post.
An entirely new branch - plant-growing - started to develop in Autonomous District. In 1932 the first sawing of potatoes on 7.5 hectares in the open air and under the glass took place. Potatoes, vegetables and root crops were raised. The achievements of Yamal farmers were shown at the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition.
In the post-war period urgent measures were taken to overcome the economic and social difficulties in the Far North. The fishing industry and hunting companies were re-equipped. Hundreds of fishing, refrigerating and fish-receiving ships were constructed; the overall capacity of refrigerators increased.
The new trade - fur farming - was rapidly developing. Silver foxes, blue foxes and minks were raised in the farms. The total cost of furs procurements in the late 1960s exceeded three million roubles.
The traditional branch of economy - reindeer breeding - became more profitable with the improving of material and technical support and introduction of scientific innovations.
In the present time 12 State farms and new agricultural formations, 49 subsidiary farms of industrial enterprises and 48 private farms are working on the territory of Autonomous District.
The enterprises of public sector - State farms, new agricultural formations and subsidiary farms - in the first quarter of 1997 sold 726 tons of meat products (three times as much as in the corresponding period of 1996) and 506 tons of milk (130%).
The functioning of agricultural economic sector is of much importance to Autonomous District for spiritual and social reasons. Reindeer breeding, fishing and hunting are the traditional trades of indigenous people of the North. The majority of them are busy in this sphere. The traditional trades make the basis of the world outlook, culture and the whole mode of life of Nenets, Khanty, Selkup and Komi peoples.
The natives meet a number of problems in the process of transition to the new market relations. The administration, State Duma and local public organizations of Autonomous District within their competence are trying to solve these problems of aborigines. The construction of new processing enterprises is planned, the existing enterprises are reconstructed and modernized. The authorities try to locate these enterprises in the places, convenient for the native people and organize transport communications. The taxation privileges or exemption of taxes are introduced for the traditional trades. In order to support these enterprises the authorities subsidize the farming and fishing production, supplied to the foodstuffs fund of Autonomous District.
These measures are beginning to produce effect - several dozens of private farms are registered in Autonomous District, the reindeer breeding, fur-farming and hunting enterprises are functioning. Three indigenous communes are working in Purovsky district.