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AKIPRESS.COM - Harvesting of the 2014 winter crops, mainly wheat, is nearing completion in Turkmenistan, while that of spring crops, mainly maize and rice just started and is expected to continue until the end of September, according to GIEWS Country Briefs.
On average, wheat crop accounts for about 90 percent of the total cereal production. This year’s wheat production is officially forecast at 1.1 million tons, 20 percent below last year’s record level and 12 percent below the five-year average.
The decrease is mainly attributed to estimated lower yields, following unseasonably cold temperatures during the winter and below-average rains particularly over the eastern parts of the country during the growing period.
Similarly, rice and maize outputs are expected to decrease.
Total cereal production in 2014 is forecast at 1.3 million tons, 18 percent below last year’s above-average level.
Due to an anticipated production decline in 2014, cereal imports for the 2014/15 marketing year (July/June) are estimated to increase by 12 percent to 102,000 tons and 16 percent above the previous five-year average.
The proportion of wheat imports to food consumption has significantly decreased from 58 percent in 2008/09 to 11 percent in 2013/14. Turkmenistan imports wheat mainly from Kazakhstan and rice from Russia.
In July, prices of wheat flour and bread increased for a second consecutive month, due to the elimination of social subsidies. The high unemployment rate, particularly in rural areas, and high prices of main staple foods have contributed to stressing food security conditions of the low-income population.
GIEWS Country Briefs provide up to date information on the food security situation of monitored countries. The Country Briefs include information on current agricultural season and the harvest prospects for main staple food crops and livestock situation. In addition, the briefs provide estimates and forecasts of cereal production and imports together with food price and policy developments.