NUR-SULTAN – Kazakhstan may export up to eight million tonnes of grains in 2020, said Kazakh Minister of Agriculture Saparkhan Omarov at a Sept. 22 government meeting.
Traditional export markets for Kazakh wheat and flour are Afghanistan, China and Central Asia. Exports to China, in particular, can be increased due to the higher quality of this year’s harvest, said the minister.
The nation has so far harvested over 14.8 million hectares of grain and milled 18.2 million tonnes of grain. Current grain volumes are sufficient to meet the country’s domestic demand and satisfy export needs, said Omarov.
As Kazakhstan is nearing the end of the harvest season, it plans to harvest 20.5 million tonnes until the end of the year, instead of the initially planned 18.5 million tonnes.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, this year’s harvesting season shows better results compared to 2019, especially in the higher quality of grain. As of September 2019, the country harvested 10.3 million hectares and milled 11.4 million tonnes of grain.
The next task is to ensure quality storage. The nation can store 28.8 million tonnes of grain, including 12.1 million tonnes at licensed grain collecting facilities, and 16.7 million tonnes at agricultural producers.
“At the same time, akimats (local executive bodies) should constantly monitor a timely collection of this year’s harvest by grain elevators and ensure an uninterrupted flow of grain,” said Omarov.
The International Grains Council forecasts a record 2.2 trillion tonnes for world grains production in 2020 driven by harvest growth in Australia, Canada and Russia, said Omarov.
At the meeting, Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin instructed the minister to gear efforts to develop a road map for the development of the grain and leguminous crops processing industry and to increase the export potential.
“The current global trend is that demand and prices for food will be growing. Therefore, our priority is to prepare a significant increase in the production and export of grain products,” said Mamin.