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Kazakh Agriculture Minister Fired For Failing To Help Farmers Affected By Drought

Saparkhan Omarov (file photo)
Saparkhan Omarov (file photo)

Kazakhstan's president sacked Agriculture Minister Saparkhan Omarov on July 10 while accusing his ministry of not having done enough to help farmers cope with a severe drought that has hit the country.

Farmers in the grain-producing Kazakhstan are struggling with extreme heat and a lack of rainfall, which has dried up pastures and resulted in the death of thousands of heads of cattle.

Speaking at a government meeting on July 10, President Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev said Omarov should step down because his ministry had failed to take effective and prompt measures to assist the farmers.

"The [local regional authorities] and the Agriculture Ministry didn't take the right decisions and necessary measures, and as a result our farmers ended up in a tough situation," Toqaev said.

Earlier this week, the Agriculture Ministry said authorities will not compensate farmers who have lost livestock.

The ministry said on July 9 that a decision about declaring a drought emergency will be made depending on the amount of precipitation in July.

With reporting by Reuters
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