For two years now, Kostanay vegetable growers have been working with potatoes at a loss. By early February, storage facilities in the region were full. In the fall, implementation was slow, and in the winter it practically stopped. Some farms are looking for new options for marketing their products, others are seriously thinking about replacing crops with more marginal ones.
According to Rustam Zhumagulov, director of Barakat Product LLP, the 2023 harvest, which took place in conditions of incessant rain, was one of the most difficult. Experienced farmers recall that a similar situation arose in 1987. Then, due to heavy rainfall, the equipment got stuck in the fields, and the tubers had to be collected manually.
This time, dirty potatoes were put into storage, and during the winter they are sorted by workers. If with the help of equipment it was previously possible to sort 15-20 tons of products per day, now it is no more than 8-10 tons. To increase productivity, farmers are actively hiring everyone who wants to work.
Today the cost of potatoes is 53 thousand tenge (1 tenge/0,2 ruble) per ton. According to local producers, such a low price has not been seen for the last seven years. Tubers are sold in the Kostanay region, as well as in the cities of Kyzylorda and Aktobe. Although in past years, agricultural products were exported to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Now the market of neighboring republics is occupied by inexpensive Russian potatoes.
Rustam Zhumagulov notes that in the new season only a few hectares will be allocated for potatoes on his farm. This is necessary to plant the elite to obtain seeds for 2025. The businessman plans to sow other crops on the remaining irrigated areas. The question of what to bet on: soybeans or lentils is still being decided.
Azerbaijani farmers intend to reduce the area under potatoes due to problems with their storage, marketing and export. This was stated by agricultural producers from...