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It is not quite reasonable to place excessive bets on grain exports: Kazakhstan’s Vice PM Krymbek Kusherbayev

23 november 2012, 21:04
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Krymbek Kusherbayev. Photo courtesy of vesti.kz
Krymbek Kusherbayev. Photo courtesy of vesti.kz
It is not quite reasonable to place excessive bets on grain exports, Kazakhstan’s Vice PM Krymbek Kusherbayev said at the VI grain forum held in Astana November 23.

“Kazakhstan’s agriculture has a vast potential to expand grain supplies to global markets. However, placing bets on grain exports alone is short-sightedness. We need to focus on processing the locally produced grain. It is not the first year we have faced inclement weather such as drought in some areas, which entailed diminished grain harvest”, he said.

According to him, climate changes lead to more intense and protracted droughts. In this context, climate experts urge nations to work on food safety strategies. With last year’s harvest leftovers, Kazakhstan’s export potential is quite high and the nation doesn’t consider cutting down on exports.

“As is known, the grain industry is strategically important for Kazakhstan. Average annual production of grain for the last 5 years stands at over 19 million tons, 30% up against the previous five years. Grain exports, including flour exports, has grown by 60% to reach 7.8 million tons. This enabled Kazakhstan to enter the top ten grain exporters in the world and a leading exporter of flour”, Mr. Kusherbayev said.

He also pointed out effective use of moisture-saving technology and assured that Kazakhstan would work on building new grain storages and develop grain shipment infrastructure.

Earlier Tengrinews.kz reported that this year’s grain harvest is twice lower than that of 2011. “Due to the inclement weather, we only harvested 14.8 million tons of grain, 2.2fold less than last year”, the country’s Vice Minister of Agriculture Muslim Umiryayev said November 13.

9.8 million tons of grain left out of last year’s harvest plus the current year’s volume are enough to meet the internal demand and export about 8 million tons, he said.

According to the State Agency for Statistics, grain production in Kazakhstan in 2011 totaled 26.9 million tons (net weight), with exports potential standing at 15 million tons.

Kazakhstan exported 5.9 million tons of grain in the 2010-2011 marketing year. This figure included grain equivalent of exported flour (2.5 million tons). The grain was traditionally exported to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan.

According to the Government’s web-site, grain harvest in 2010 totaled 12.2 million tons (net weight). Grain harvest of 2009 made up 22.7 million tons (bunker weight).

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