September 27, 2011


Kazakhstan faces difficulty in grain storage



The difficulty in storing its huge grain harvest has made the senior officials of Kazakhstan to urgently seek for markets to sell it.


According to Prime Minister Karim Masimov that the issue on storing the grain in terminals is 100% unsolved. He himself has spoken to local administrators and agricultural producers that they have to store part of the grain in fields.


In his turn, Agriculture Minister Asylzhan Mamytbekov admitted that this year has proven that they have to diversify crops.


"We sell only about six million tonnes of grain to our traditional buyers," he said, reminding that for internal consumption they need about eight million tonnes of grain.


"We are overproducing currently, and good harvest years like this do more harm to us than good," the Agriculture Minister was forced to admit, clarifying that Kazakhstan saw similar good yields only as far back as in 1950.


In connection with such good harvest "one of the crucial issues is to find markets and our task is to expand them and then the storage issues will also be solved," the prime minister said.


"This year a new road will be opened through Turkmenistan, and until the end of the year there will be a new railway line to China. I think that if we find new markets via Turkmenistan in the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan and via China in China itself and some other countries of Southeast Asia, it would solve the issues of finding new markets for our grain," he said. "Our task is to export as much as possible now and take it out as soon as possible."


According to the Agriculture Ministry, as of September 20, grain has been harvested off a total of 11.6 million hectares of farming land, which makes 72% of the overall area under grains. A total of 18.3 million tonnes of grain have been harvested, which is 6.3 million more than in the same period of last year.


The average yield in the country is 16 hundredweights per hectare, but in northern regions there are farms where they get 30 hundredweights per hectare.

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