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Food consumption decline expected in Central Asian countries

A decline in domestic consumption of products is expected in the medium term — up to six months. Sergei Zorya, World Bank’s Senior Agricultural Economist, said during an online briefing.

According to him, the states of the region may encounter certain difficulties in the next 1-3 months, for example, price hikes for certain types of food and reduced access of vulnerable groups to them due to lower incomes. On average, 40-60 percent of household expenses in the region are food expenses. There may be disruptions in the supply chains of raw materials (seeds and fertilizers), which can lead to a delay in agricultural work and adversely affect the future harvest of various crops.

The decrease in food consumption will occur due to the economic recession, reduction in remittances and devaluation of the national currency in the countries of the region.

«In addition, a decrease in demand for fruits and vegetables from Central Asia in Russia (its main market) is expected, where the economic crisis affected the purchasing power of the population. There will be difficulties in repaying loans by local agricultural producers, who have suffered from quarantine restrictions,» Sergei Zorya stressed.