Kazakhstan’s Kyzylorda region expanding rice export

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ASTANA (TCA) — A new variety of rice is being tested now in Kazakhstan’s southern Kyzylorda region for further export, the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan reported on its website.

The dynamics of rice yields continues to grow in the Kyzylorda region. “If we compare with 1991, the productivity increased by 12%. And if you take the last three years, the total production of rice has increased by a third. Every year we produce about 400 thousand tons,” said the head of the regional Department of Agriculture Bakhyt Zhakanov in an interview to palata.kz. He noted that it allows not only to fully meet the needs of the domestic market, but also to export rice.

According to Zhakanov, today Kyzylorda rice is exported to Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Tajikistan, and Afghanistan. “These are the countries to which we have established exports. We export small amounts to Russia. Sometimes we export to Europe,” he added.

He named Russians as the main competitors of Kyzylorda rice producers, because the genetics of Kyzylorda and Russian rice is identical. “We do not compete with China, we do not compete with other countries, such as Uzbekistan, where they grow different type of rice. National standards of taste in all countries are different. Iran would not eat our rice, because they prepare very different dishes, they do not eat traditional Kazakh pilaf, and they do not eat rice porridge, which we like to eat in the post-Soviet countries,” said Zhakanov.

“So now we are going to a higher quality level, when you need to grow those varieties that they prefer in their countries,” he said.

Now the rice growers of Kyzylorda region are trying to grow the Iranian rice variety. “We want to see how it will behave if it adapts [in Kyzylorda], then we will be able to sell to Iran their favorite type of rice,” summed up Zhakanov.

Sergey Kwan

TCA