Skip to main content

Wheat harvest yield almost 28 percent above the 2012 harvest

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Tajikistan
  • October 2013
Wheat harvest yield almost 28 percent above the 2012 harvest

Download the Report

  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook Through March 2014
  • Key Messages
    • According to the Ministry of Agriculture, 644,948 metric tons (MT) of wheat were harvested by October 7, making 27.7 percent more volume available than the already above-average 2012 harvest. Many rural households depend on their own wheat production as a major source of food, and wheat-producing households will be able to store above-average household wheat stocks this winter.

    • The potato harvest is expected to yield adequate production levels. Prices of potatoes continued falling from August to September in Gharm and Khujand, markets that serve the higher elevation, surplus-producing areas for potatoes.

    • Labor outmigration continued at record levels in September, which is expected to provide remittances to many rural and urban households.




    No anomalies expected to have a significant impact on food security are observed or projected for October to December.

    Projected Outlook Through March 2014

    By October, rural households are beginning to rely more heavily on own and domestic food production rather than market purchases or imports. Both rural and urban area households’ diets are becoming more diversified due to the spring crop harvest ending this month. Households gained access to locally produced vegetables, fruit, and milk products, in addition to the staples such as wheat flour, vegetable oil, potatoes, and rice. Prices have been stable or declining slightly following seasonal patterns due to the availability of adequate supplies from local harvests and imports from Kazakhstan.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture, as of October 7, with the spring harvest nearing completion (over 99 percent of the planted area harvested), grain crops yielded 770,044 MT (a 25 percent increase from last year) while wheat produced an estimated volume of 644,948 MT (27.7 percent higher than last year’s already above-average level). Households will be able to store above-average amounts of wheat for winter and the lean season or to make additional, above-average sales.

    The potato harvest is nearing completion. The price of a kilogram of potatoes continued to decline 9 percent and 14 percent from August to September in Gharm and Khujand, respectively. These markets serve higher elevation potato surplus-producing areas in the Rasht Valley and northern Tajikistan, respectively. An additional 12.5 percent decline in prices was also observed in Khorog, which supplies potatoes to the eastern population in Gorno-Badakshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO). Price changes of this magnitude that are slightly more than a typical, seasonal decline point towards a likely average to above average potato harvest .

    Through September 2013, the Migration Service of Tajikistan had recorded 814,985 outmigrations, which is over 15 percent more than last year at the same time. This September represented another record high for outmigrations, though they have fallen since their seasonal peak in March/April. At the same time, increasing numbers of returnees (approximately 63% of the total number who outmigrated from January to September 2013) have migrated back as employment opportunities in neighboring countries are seasonally decreasing. High levels of labor migration will likely lead to higher earnings and higher remittances sent back to Tajikistan between now and November. Given Tajikistan’s remittances approaching an estimated 48 percent of its GDP in 2012, according to the World Bank, poor households rely on them as an important source of income. Wage rates for unskilled casual labor, another key source of income, were stable and did not vary throughout Tajikistan between August and September.

    Conditions in Kazakhstan have quite favorable for wheat production with rains seasonally tapering off in northern Kazakhstan in late September and early October. According to the USDA GAIN report, almost 84 percent of the planted area has been harvested, with national yields over 43 percent higher than this time last year, although this year’s harvest was delayed 2 weeks. Wheat prices have correspondingly declined substantially since January due to sales of remaining carryover stocks from previous growing seasons and good 2013 production prospects. Current conditions indicate widespread freezing temperatures (-4 to 0 degrees C) reported by NOAA across northeast Kazakhstan have begun, as is usual for late October. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) has continued to remain above average in the northern, wheat surplus-producing oblasts, indicating strong crop growth and development. Kazakhstan expects to have ample wheat supply to export to Central Asian countries like Tajikistan (Figure 2). Kazakhstan serves as the primary source of imported wheat and wheat flour.

    With the El Niño-Southern Oscillation conditions likely to remain neutral for the remainder of the year, seasonal forecasts for the October 2013 to May 2014 season also do not indicate any major anomalies for expected precipitation or temperature. According to NOAA, snow likely fell in the mountains of northeast Afghanistan and Tajikistan, as expected for this time of year. Given a so far normal start to the wet season, planting of winter crops like winter wheat and barley should proceed on a typical schedule and with near normal planted area.

    Figures Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar for a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Kazakh wheat grain exports to Central Asia (MMT) 2003/4 to 2012/13*

    Figure 2

    Kazakh wheat grain exports to Central Asia (MMT) 2003/4 to 2012/13*

    Source: USDA GAIN report, Kazakh Customs (Includes Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzsta…

    Figure 3


    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

    Get the latest food security updates in your inbox Sign up for emails

    The information provided on this Website is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the U.S. Agency for International Development or the U.S. Government.

    Jump back to top