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Kyrgyzstanis are not in danger of famine: Agriculture Ministry’s commentary

Kazakhstan was hit by spring floods in April. At least 10 out of 17 regions were flooded. The country’s authorities have declared a state of emergency. President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called it «the largest natural disaster in the last 80 years.»

Kyrgyzstan is not in danger of such a flood. At least that’s what Daurbek Sakiev, director of the Emergency Situations Monitoring and Forecasting Department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Kyrgyzstan, said.

In a recent interview with 24.kg news agency, he explained why: Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous country, while Kazakhstan’s territory is flat.

Meanwhile, deputy of the Parliament Dastanbek Dzhumabekov said that the flooding in Kazakhstan poses another threat. Allegedly, due to floods, Kyrgyzstan may be left without wheat and barley. The main supplier of the latter is Kazakhstan.

«Due to the floods, a significant area of ​​farmland in Kazakhstan was under water. We may have a food crisis. The authorities need to take proactive measures and without delay,» Dastanbek Dzhumabekov said.

As an argument, the deputy cited data from the National Statistical Committee of Kyrgyzstan: 370,800 tons of wheat were imported into the country in 2023.

Most of this volume, 351,400 tons, came from Russia, the remaining 19,400 tons — from Kazakhstan.

It is without taking into account more than 29,000 tons of flour also imported from Kazakhstan in 2023.

The Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic does not share the deputy’s pessimism.

The head of the Department for Food Security, Daniyar Zhanuzakov, answering questions from 24.kg news agency, noted: Kyrgyzstan, indeed, buys grain from its neighbors. But supplies come from other areas that were not affected by the spring floods.

«Those that were flooded account for a maximum of 5 percent of the total supply. This indicator has absolutely no impact,» Daniyar Zhanuzakov said.

He added that an indicative balance within the EAEU is approved annually. It provides for certain volumes for wheat, barley, and sugar.

If our neighbors impose a ban on exports, we use this code. There are also agreements with flour mills on a stable supply of flour. They have from 500 to 3,000 tons in reserve, which, if necessary, will be distributed throughout the country.

Daniyar Zhanuzakov

The official assured that there will be no food shortage in Kyrgyzstan and there is no reason for concern.