26 Mar 2024 13:47

Kazakhstan to reduce wheat area 3% to 13.3 mln ha in 2024

ASTANA. March 26 (Interfax) - Kazakhstan plans to reduce the area under wheat 3% this year 13.7 million to 13.3 million hectares, Agriculture Minister Aidarbek Saparov said.

"This year, crops will be planted on an area of 23.8 million hectares, which is 209,600 hectares less than in 2023. The area for wheat cultivation is set to decrease by 429,200 hectares to 13.3 million hectares," he said at a cabinet meeting.

Kazakhstan aims to boost the production of other key crops. Oilseed crops will notably expand, with an additional 385,700 hectares, reaching 3.2 million hectares. Sunflower cultivation is set to rise by 60,000 hectares, reaching 1.2 million hectares. Additionally, the sugar beet area will double to 25,000 hectares, and fodder crop cultivation will increase to 3.2 million hectares.

Challenges in water supply have prompted a reevaluation of water-intensive crops. Cotton cultivation is projected to decrease by 16,000 hectares, and rice by 6,400 hectares compared to the previous year.

In 2023, the Zhambyl region faced a loss of 10-15% of its farmland due to a summer water shortage from the Kirov reservoir in Kyrgyzstan.

Last year President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev urged southern farmers to diversify crops and adopt water-efficient practices to enhance food security and sustainable farming.

In 2023, Kazakh farmers harvested 16.6 million tonnes of grain. As Kazakhstan focuses on agricultural development in 2024, emphasis on crop diversification and resource efficiency will shape the future of farming in the country.