NUR-SULTAN, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Kazakhstan has suspended exports of socially significant food products since March 22 to guarantee the domestic supply, Kazakh Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov announced on Tuesday.
The banned products include buckwheat, wheat and rye flour, sugar, potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, onions, cabbages, sunflower seeds and oil.
According to the Agriculture Ministry, the ban is valid at least until April 15, 2020.
Along with the export ban, Kazakhstan also reduces the value-added tax on agricultural products and imposes zero duty on imports of critical food products.
Sultanov said as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to ensure uninterrupted supply on the domestic market. "There should always be bread, milk, cereals and meat on the tables of Kazakhstanis," said Sultanov, adding that the country will introduce regulations to control prices of socially significant goods.
Kazakhstan has reported 72 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday and shut down two largest cities.