The gross grain harvest in Kazakhstan this year was 23.7 million tons, up almost by 4 million tons YoY. Kazakh farmers have also harvested 3.6 million tons of vegetables and 2.2 million tons of melons, exceeding last year’s produce yield by 511,000 tons.
First Vice Minister of Agriculture Kairat Aituganov reported on the results and progress of the country’s agro-industrial complex development at a government session on social and economic growth in Astana.
“The average yield totaled 1.54 tons per hectare, up by 15% YoY. The collected harvest fully covers domestic demand and meets the export targets at the level of 8.5-9 million tons. At present, grain exports amount to 7.9 million tons, which exceeds the previous year’s figure by 12%”, he said.
“In 11 months, the agricultural gross output grew to reach 3.4 trillion tenge; the index of physical volume grew by 4.5% YoY”, the vice minister said.
The livestock industry has seen an increase of herd size by on average 1.3%, meat production growth of 3.5% and a milk production increase of 3.1%.
For the first time in the past 20 years, farmers sowed sugar beet in northern Kazakhstan. Total production was 14,000 tons with an average yield of 350 kg per hectare. This is higher than the average national indicator by 15%.
“Overall, this year we had a good harvest”, Aituganov concluded.
The country is set to boost its agricultural output and food production. The State Program of Agrarian and Industrial Complex Development for 2015-2017 sets a goal of increasing livestock production by 40% and crop production by 30%. The program also ensures that farmers receive enough financial incentive to improve efficiency. Under the program, the number of farmers receiving state financial support will grow sevenfold, from 67,000 to 500,000.
By 2021, gross output of agricultural products is expected to grow by 30% or 1 trillion tenge ($3 billion) to reach 4.3 trillion tenge ($12.9 billion). More than 1,200 farming co-operatives will be involved in the food products distribution system.
The increase in new indicators will be achieved under the previously approved budget, without additional funding. (The Astana Times/Business World Magazine)