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GIEWS Update-detail
FAO/GIEWS Global Watch

17 September 2008

Kyrgyzstan Update

The 2008 grain and pulse harvest is forecast at 1.5 million tonnes, 91% of the average (2003-2007), and the second poor harvest in a row. The area sown to wheat increased by over 30 000 hectares to 393 000 hectares, but the target of producing 1 million tonnes was not achieved as frost and a dry summer affected growth. Frost in April, also caused damage to fruit, fodder and winter wheat crops in Chui and Talas oblasts, two major producing areas. Nevertheless, the Government expects the 2008 wheat harvest to reach 800 000 tonnes, some 85 percent of the 2002/2007 average and 90, 000 tonnes more than last year’s poor harvest. By early September, farmers had harvested 687 000 tonnes from 70 percent of the area sown to wheat. The outlook for coarse grain production is uncertain and is provisionally estimated at nearly 0.6 million tonnes, including 375 000 tonnes of maize. Maize yields are expected to be lower than average.

The food supply situation has been tense owing to high cereal prices and a ban on exports of wheat and vegetable oil from Kazakhstan during the final months of the 2007/2008 marketing year. The ban on wheat exports has been lifted as of 1 September and the country should not face difficulties in mobilizing its cereal import requirement estimated at 310 000 tons including 300 000 tonnes of wheat. Given good harvests in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and expectations for Kyrgyzstan itself, prices for wheat are expected to fall from the high levels of the summer. However, low purchasing power remains the main food security issue.