Farmers harvest grain in a farm in Turgen village, Akmola Region, Kazakhstan, Sept. 9, 2020. Kazakh Agriculture Minister Saparkhan Omarov said Wednesday that the harvesting of 11.1 million hectares of grain and beans, or over 70 percent of total sown land, has been completed, preceding last year's season remarkably. (Photo by Kalizhan Ospanov/Xinhua)
NUR-SULTAN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Kazakh Agriculture Minister Saparkhan Omarov said Wednesday that the harvesting of 11.1 million hectares of grain and beans, or over 70 percent of total sown land, has been completed, preceding last year's season remarkably.
When COVID-19 restrictions were imposed in spring, the government provided farmers with low-interest loans, seeds, fertilizers and pesticides to guarantee the spring plow in a timely manner, laying a solid foundation for a bumper autumn harvest, Omarov said.
The minister said from January to August this year, Kazakhstan's agricultural output reached 2.4 trillion tenge (5.64 billion U.S. dollars), up 4.9 percent year-on-year.
Kazakhstan's grain production is expected to reach 18 million tons this year, with its export scale estimated at 7.5-8 million tons, Omarov said, adding the Central Asian country also plans to increase exports of honey, sunflower oil and meat.
Apart from its major agricultural trading partners like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan and Iran, Kazakhstan has also pledged to expand export of agricultural products to China, Japan and Middle Eastern countries, the minister said.
By the end of this year, the export destination will grow to 80 countries and regions, Omarov added.
In his annual address to the nation on Sept. 1, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the country has been tasked with developing agriculture by realizing self-sufficiency in socially significant food products, increasing incomes of rural residents, improving productivity by 2.5 times, and scaling up the export of agricultural products. Enditem