FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
- Favourable conditions of 2020 winter cereal crops
- Cereal production in 2019 estimated near average
- Slightly above‑average cereal imports forecast in 2019/20
Favourable conditions of 2020 winter cereal crops
Planting of the 2020 winter cereals, for harvest between June and August, was completed in November 2019 under slightly drier‑than‑average weather conditions. However, precipitation levels improved in January and February 2020, benefitting soil moisture. As of early March, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) showed near‑average conditions in most croplands, inferring proper crop establishment and germination.
Planting of the 2020 spring grains, to be harvested from August, is expected to start in April.
Cereal production in 2019 estimated near average
Harvesting of 2019 cereal crops finalized in September 2019 and the output is estimated at a near‑average level of 7.8 million tonnes. Wheat output is set at 6.8 million tonnes, 5 percent above the five‑year average, due to slightly above‑average plantings and favourable weather conditions in the season, which had a positive impact on yields.
Slightly above‑average cereal imports forecast in 2019/20
In the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June), wheat import requirements are forecast at 2.8 million tonnes, slightly above the five‑year average level. Over the last years, the country decreased the imports of wheat flour (which more than halved between 2011/12 and 2018/19) and raised its purchases of high quality wheat grain from Kazakhstan, due to increased local milling capacities. This allows the country to satisfy its domestic needs of wheat flour and export additional supplies of wheat flour to neighbouring countries.
On 23 October 2019, the Government approved the Agriculture Development Strategy, valid for the period 2020-2030. The Strategy aims at the development and implementation of national policies to ensure food security, food safety and healthier diets. It also provides for the introduction of market prices on agricultural products, including grains.