Kazakhstan plans to switch from grain to other crops

Business news correspondent
Kazakhstan plans to cut area under grain, rice and cotton / Photo: Shutterstock

According to Minister of Agriculture of Kazakhstan Aidarbek Saparov, Kazakhstan is going to cut the total area of wheat agriculture and switch to oil and forage crops.

This year, the country plans to sow various crops at 23.8 million hectares, which is 209,600 hectares less than in 2023. The area of wheat crops will decrease by 429,200 hectares to 13.3 million hectares compared to last year. The ministry intends to switch focus to the cultivation of other socially important and highly profitable crops.

According to data from regional authorities, the area under oil crops will be increased by 385,700 hectares, reaching 3.2 million hectares in total. These figures include 1.2 million hectares of sunflower, a 60,000-hectare increase. Also, Kazakhstani farmers are going to boost the cultivation of white beet by 12,000 hectares to 25,000 and forage crops by 68,300 hectares to 3.2 million.

As Kazakhstan’s struggle with lack of irrigation water increases, the country plans to cut the area under water-intensive crops such as cotton (by 16,000 hectares to 100,000) and rice (by 6,400 hectares to 93,900).

«All this planned area under grain, vegetables and potato is expected to provide the domestic needs in these products,» Saparov stated.

As the official noted, his agency has analyzed the situation in the agriculture complex and concluded that poor diversification of crops is one of the key problems of the industry. This is why the Ministry of Agriculture wants to ensure that Kazakhstani fields are sown with a variety of crops.

As of now, the sowing work has already started at 33,300 hectares in southern regions of Kazakhstan. Full-scale sowing is going to start mid-May.

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