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Country Briefs

  Kyrgyzstan

Reference Date: 29-March-2019

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Winter crops for harvest in 2019 about to resume growth

  2. Bumper cereal output obtained in 2018

  3. Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 (July/June) expected at near-average level

  4. Prices of wheat flour remained stable over last months

Winter crops for harvest in 2019 about to resume growth

Conditions of 2019 winter crops, to be harvested between June and August, are reported to be favourable. Sufficient snow cover, necessary to protect crops from freezing during the dormancy period, was present on most crop fields since late October 2018. As of early March, snow had almost entirely melted and plant growth is expected to resume in April. The area sown with 2019 winter cereals, mostly wheat, is estimated at 154 000 hectares, close to last year’s average level.

Sowing of 2019 spring crops, to be harvested between August and October, is expected to start in April.

On 2 February 2019, a presidential decree announced that the cost of seeds for a number of food crops, including cereals, will be subsidized. The subsidy intends to half the cost of seed purchases incurred by farmers by reducing the price of seeds from an average of KGS 25 per kg (USD 0.4) to KGS 12.5 per kg (USD 0.2). Approximately KGS 107 million (USD 1.5 million) have been allocated to the seed subsidy programme which is expected to boost plantings.

Bumper cereal output obtained in 2018

Aggregate cereal production in 2018 is estimated at 1.78 million tonnes, 7 percent above the five-year average and the nine-year high. The result is mainly on account of record maize and barley outputs, officially estimated at 692 900 and 429 300 tonnes, respectively, mainly due to increased plantings. By contrast, production of wheat, following a progressive reduction in the area planted, is estimated 8 percent below the average, at 615 900 tonnes.

Cereal import requirements in 2018/19 expected at near-average level

In the 2018/19 marketing year (July/June), total cereal import requirements, mostly wheat, are forecast at 588 000 tonnes, near the five-year average level. Wheat imports account for almost half of the total domestic consumption needs and are shipped mainly from Kazakhstan, although the share of imports from the Russian Federation has been increasing over the last years.

Prices of wheat flour remained stable over last months

Retail prices of wheat flour remained generally stable in most markets over the last months and, in February 2019, prices were close to their values in the corresponding month of the previous year as a result of adequate supplies from the above-average output of 2018.

Prices of potatoes, another important staple, have been decreasing since December 2018 and, in February 2019, they were significantly lower than their year-earlier levels, mainly due to an increased harvest in 2018.

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