ASTANA – The gross grain harvest in Kazakhstan this year was 23.7 million tonnes, almost 4 million tonnes more than last year’s yield. Kazakh farmers have also harvested 3.6 million tonnes of vegetables and 2.2 million tonnes of melons, exceeding last year’s produce yield by 511,000 tonnes.
First Vice Minister of Agriculture Kairat Aituganov reported on the results and progress of the country’s agro-industrial complex development at a Dec. 20 government session on social and economic growth in Astana.
“The average yield totalled 1.54 tonnes per hectare, which is 15 percent more than last year [1.34 tonnes per hectare]. The collected harvest fully covers domestic demand and meets the export targets at the level of 8.5–9 million tonnes. At present, grain exports amount to 7.9 million tonnes, which exceeds the previous year’s figure by 12 percent,” 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 percent compared to the same period last year,” the vice minister said.
The livestock industry has seen an increase of herd size by on average 1.3 percent, meat production growth of 3.5 percent and a milk production increase of 3.1 percent.
For the first time in the past 20 years, farmers sowed sugar beet in northern Kazakhstan. Total production was 14,000 tonnes with an average yield of 350 kilogrammes per hectare. This is higher than the average national indicator by 15 percent.
“Overall, this year we had a good harvest,” Aituganov concluded.
The country is set to boost its agricultural output and food production. The State Programme of Agrarian and Industrial Complex Development for 2015–2017 sets a goal of increasing livestock production by 40 percent and crop production by 30 percent. The programme also ensures that farmers receive enough financial incentive to improve efficiency. Under the programme, 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 percent or 1 trillion tenge (US$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.