by Staff Writers
Astana, Kazakhstan (AFP) Nov 06, 2012
The grain harvest in Kazakhstan, central Asia's breadbasket, almost halved this year following a severe drought, according to government figures released Tuesday.
This year's harvest amounted to 14.7 million tonnes, almost half the 26.9 million tonnes recorded in 2011.
The former Soviet republic generally exports about half of its crops, particularly to its central Asian neighbours but also towards the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan.
In July, the US agriculture ministry reported drought in several key production regions, but added that Kazakh stocks from prior harvests would enable the country to export considerable amounts of grain.
In neighbouring Russia, also affected by the drought, the government says it expects a grain harvest of 71.7 million tonnes this year, down from 94.2 million tonnes in 2011.
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