Tag Archives: drought

Kazakhstan bans grain exports as drought worsens

ALMATY/JULY 19 2021 (The Bulletin) — With a drought that has destroyed crops and wiped out livestock in much of Western Kazakhstan continuing, the Kazakh government said that it was limiting the export of barley and wheat which are used for animal feed (July 19). The initial ban on the export of barley and wheat is for six months although analysts have said it could last longer.

Activists have criticised the government for not doing enough to help farmers deal with the drought and have been posting pictures of dead and heavily emaciated horses in the arid west of the country.

Earlier this month, Kazakhstan declared the drought an emergency and Kazakh President Kassym Jomart Tokayev then fired Saparkhan Omarov, the agriculture minister, for failing to help farmers.

Kazakhstan is the largest grain producer in the Central Asia region.


— This story was published in issue 493 of the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin, on July 22 2021

— Copyright the Central Asia & South Caucasus Bulletin 2021

Tajik President warns of droughts

MARCH 1 2016 (The Conway Bulletin) – Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon warned people that reservoirs in Tajikistan were low because of a relatively dry winter and that droughts were likely this summer. It’s unusual for Mr Rakhmon to give drought warnings. Tajikistan’s rivers feed downstream Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, meaning that droughts would have knock-on consequences and could strain bilateral relations.


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(News report from Issue No. 270, published on March 4 2016)


Azerbaijan to increase grain reserves

JAN. 5 2015, (The Conway Bulletin) — Azerbaijan has said that it will increase by 50% the size of its grain reserves, media reported. Azerbaijan wants to hedge against grain harvest fluctuations by increasing its stored supply to 750,000 tonnes from 500,000 tonnes. Its intervention will push up grain prices.


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(News report from Issue No. 213, published on Jan. 7 2015)

Uzbekistan’s Aral Sea shrink hits millions

OCT. 28 2014 (The Conway Bulletin) – Speaking via a video link to a conference in Tashkent, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said human interference had drained the Aral Sea with implications for millions of people. The Aral Sea, shared by Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, has shrunk dramatically over the past 30 years, mainly due to Soviet era irrigation projects.


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(News report from Issue No. 206, published on Oct. 29 2014)


Farmers talk of drought in Uzbekistan

JUNE 24 2014 (The Conway Bulletin) – Media in Uzbekistan reported that a drought in the south of the country means that crop expectations are low.

The uznews.net opposition website said that harvest would be 50% lower than normal on rain-fed crops.

“It did not rain this April and we expect smaller harvests,” uznews.net quoted a farmer as saying.

Officials have not commented although signs of drought are important for policymakers. Droughts and a lack of income can trigger social discontent. Throughout the year, reports have surfaced from Uzbekistan of rising prices.

Uzbekistan is particularly prone to drought. Much of its agriculture is under-resourced and lacking in investment and the land is generally arid. A government report in 2012 said that 76% of the population was living in areas at risk of drought.

And the timing of the uznews.net report is pertinent. The state’s Committee for Natural Protection organised a roundtable on June 29 specifically to discuss desertification and drought in Uzbekistan. The World Bank and the Asian Development all provide various forms of financial assistance aimed at reducing drought in Uzbekistan.


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(News report from Issue No. 190, published on July 2 2014)


UNDP warns of drought in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

JUNE 23 2011 (The Conway Bulletin) – Central Asia is facing a drought that will not only hit cotton and food production but also heighten tension across the region, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said. UNDP said that Water levels are a third lower than average in important reservoirs in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.


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(News report from Issue No. 46, published on June 28 2011)

Kazakhstan bans buckwheat exports

SEPT. 27 2010 (The Conway Bulletin) — Kazakhstan banned the export of buckwheat, a favourite cereal in the former Soviet Union, because of shortages caused by a summer drought. It also said the drought had hit its grain harvest which would only be 13.5m tonnes this year, the bottom end of previous forecasts.


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(News report from Issue No. 9, published on Sept. 30 2010)