Minister: Kazakhstan intends to harvest over 18 million tons of grain
Kazakhstan, Astana, Aug.22 / Trend, A. Maratov /
Kazakhstan plans to harvest over 18 million tons of grain, Kazakh Agriculture Minister Asyljan Mamytbekov said at a governmental meeting in Astana.
"This year's forecast is around 18 - 18.9 million tons of grain, including wheat - 14.5 million tons", Mamytbekov said.
This figure is about 2-3 million tenge higher than what was previously forecasted. According to the Agriculture Ministry's forecasts, the harvest was originally planned to yield 16 - 17 million tons of grain.
Mamytbekov said the average yield of grain-sowing regions is 14.4 quintals per hectare, in some regions - 16.7 quintals per hectare.
"Today, 15 percent was harvested in the sown areas", Mamytbekov said.
However, the minister said, because of the long spring and moderate summer, crop ripening was delayed by two weeks. In addition, according to weather forecasts, the autumn is expected to be rainy.
"All this indicates that the harvest will be conducted under conditions of high humidity, which will result in a heavy burden on the drying equipment", he said.
Mamytbekov stressed that 405,000 tons of fuels and lubricants are allocated at a preferred price.
"The national company 'Food Corporation' will have to develop a plan for supplying adequate amounts of Kazakh grain for export", he said.
Kazakhstan is among the six largest grain exporters in the world and has been a world leader for flour export for three consecutive years.