Turkistan's melons and watermelons are identified as one of the top export goods

Kazakhstan is planning to increase exports of its food products by 40 per cent by 2021. To achieve this goal, Kazakh agrarians are actively enhancing volumes of agricultural production. For example, in Turkistan region, melons and watermelons are identified as one of the top export goods. Kazakh melons and watermelons are currently in high demand in other countries. The fruits were previously shipped to the CIS countries, and now they are sold in European countries as well, such as Germany, Latvia and Belarus. Turkistan farmers harvested 1.33 million tonnes of melon products this year.

NURALY SULTANBEKOV, FARMER:

 - This year, we have a good harvest, compared to last year. The weather was also good this year. We allocated 16 hectares of land for the early crops of melons and watermelons. We have 12 hectares of vineyards, of which 10 hectares are yielding and additional two hectares will yield fruits next year.

Agricultural producers of Turkistan region are constantly improving the taste and commercial properties of their products to boost sales. Local scientists produced four new varieties of melons and one variety of watermelons. They are currently working on a new variety.

IBADULLA UMBETAYEV, GENERAL DIRECTOR, COTTON RESEARCH INSTITUTE:

 - We are growing export-oriented Melons. We will grow other varieties as well. These fruits will be used for the production of jam, dried fruits, juices, marinades and other products.

Turkistan region hosted the Kauyn Fest festival. The event was organized for the first time and it has gained popularity among producers and customers. Farmers brought 27 varieties of melons and watermelons with the total weight of more than 30 tonnes.

NURBEK BADYRAKOV, DEPUTY HEAD OF AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT:

 - Growing melons is five times more profitable than growing cotton. Cotton growers profit 250,000-300,000 Tenge while profit from melons totals 1 .25 million Tenge. Therefore, we plan to increase export by 2.5 times.

Agrarians believe that growing melons and watermelons are more profitable. Judging by the figures, the areas of melon crops in Turkistan region almost doubled and exceeded 61,000 hectares of land over the last eight years.