Monday, July 23, 2012 -
Kazakh authorities have been forced to lower the country’s anticipated grain harvest for 2012 due to drought conditions, the Kazakh president said in a Monday statement.
Officials dropped their forecast to 14.08 million tons for 2012, lowering estimates from an earlier forecast of 15.4 million tons.
“Last year we harvested a record crop, but this one won’t be an easy one for agriculture,” Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in a statement posted on presidential site akorda.kz, where the figures were also published.
“It’s important to control grain prices on the domestic market.”
The worst drought has afflicted northern Kazakhstan, especially the Kostanai provinces. While the provinces of North Kazakhstan and Akmola have not been as hard-hit as Kostanai has, these areas have also suffered.
Kazakhstan harvested 29.7 million tons of grain in 2011, its largest crop since the former Soviet republic gained independence in 1991.
Kazakhstan’s 16 million people consume only 2.75 million tons of grain per year, enabling Kazakhstan to export the bulk of its harvest.
Russia has also been negatively affected by drought and will have lower grain yields as well.