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Uzbekistan PDF version    Email this article Print this article Subscribe FAO GIEWS RSS  Share this article  

Reference Date: 14-December-2012

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. The area planted with winter crops in 2012/13 is forecast to be similar to the good level in the previous year

  2. Cereal production in 2012 is estimated to be above the five-year average

  3. Import requirements are forecast to decrease significantly

  4. Concerns have been raised on food security for people on low incomes

The area planted with winter crops in 2012/13 is forecast to be similar to the good level in the previous year

The sowing of winter crops has been completed satisfactorily. The total area planted with winter cereals is similar to last year’s good level. The trend of increasing areas planted with cereals – by cutting off cotton fields – is expected to continue in spring assuming improved weather conditions.

Cereal production in 2012 is estimated to be above the five-year average

Uzbekistan’s total cereal output is estimated to be above the five-year average in 2012. It has been officially reported that the country has produced around 7.4 million tonnes of cereals, of which 6.7 million tonnes is wheat, reflecting a 8.5 percent increase in yields. Wheat is the main cereal product and represents around 91 percent of total cereal production. The estimated 1.4 million hectares planted with wheat is equal to the area planted in the previous year; over 81 percent of this area is irrigated. Between 50 and 55 percent of the crop is considered to be of milling quality. The remaining 9 percent of cereal crops are made up of barley, rice, and maize, which, except rice, are mainly used for feed.

Import requirements are forecast to decrease significantly

Despite relatively stable cereal production in recent years (2006-2011), the country still needs to Uzbekistan import 39 percent of wheat for food consumption in 2012/13 marketing year (July-June). Wheat import requirements in the 2012/13 marketing year (July-June) are forecast to decrease by about 42, reflecting increased production. Kazakhstan remains the main supplier of high quality wheat and wheat flour to Uzbekistan. Reportedly, in 2011, Kazakhstan exported 1.23 million tonnes of wheat flour to Uzbekistan. In 2012/13 marketing year the export of Kazakh wheat flour to Uzbekistan is foreseen to decrease, as Uzbekistan introduced a 15 percent excise duty on flour in order to stimulate the of the local production of wheat flour. Increased wheat production allows the country to export lower grade wheat, with total exports estimated at 600 000 tonnes. The export destinations are reportedly Iran, Afghanistan and neighbouring CIS countries.

Concerns have been raised on food security for people on low incomes

A rapidly growing population, poor irrigation practices and high wheat and wheat flour prices all raise concerns about food security in Uzbekistan. A significant proportion of cultivated land is irrigated, although 50 percent of irrigated land is vulnerable to salinity which has degraded the fertility of the land throughout the country. At the same time about 20 percent of the population spend an average of 61 percent of their income on food and consume mainly cereals. Furthermore, the authorities have increased the price of regulated social bread. As of the beginning of October 2012, the price of a standard loaf of bread, baked from first grade flour, increased to UZS 550, which is still the most affordable bread for low-income families.







Relevant links:
From GIEWS:
 Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) Reports & Special Alerts: 2000
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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