Thursday, July 19, 2012 -
Kazakhstan’s agriculture ministry is offering the country’s small farmers discounts on the purchase of combine harvesters, as it vows to achieve grain export targets despite a savage drought.
“The plan is to supply at least 760 cheap combine harvesters to small producers as part of this program this year,” read a ministry statement, the Kazakh online media outlet Tengrinews.kz reported.
The agricultural producers across Central Asia’s vast territory may purchase the harvesting equipment at low interest rates and without the need for additional collateral property or co-financing, the ministry said.
The sales will be arranged via KazAgro, the country’s largest agricultural holding firm, it said.
The agricultural authority is also offering to sell low-cost grain drying units to small producers and assist them with the cost of constructing inexpensive hangar-type grain storages.
The initiatives come as scorching temperatures parch the country’s northern grain belt.
Local authorities in the drought-affected provinces of Kostanai, Akmola, and North Kazakhstan have warned that this year’s crop may be 50 percent lower than last year’s post-independence record harvest.
The agriculture ministry said Thursday that despite the shortfall and the persistent drought, it sees no need to impose a ban on grain exports.
It said this year’s crop will be supplemented with carryover stocks to fully meet domestic demand as well as match last year’s export volume of 11 million tons.