Kazakhstan is the third biggest grain manufacturer in the CIS after Russia and Ukraine. The export of wheat is one of the essential sources of foreign currency inflow to the economics of the republic.
In 2013, according to Assylzhan Mamytbekov, Minister of Agriculture, taking into account the course of harvesting operations and results, the estimated output of cereal crops has been corrected to 18,5 million tons. To compare, in 2011 more than 25 million tons of grain was harvested. By the way, in February 2013 US Agricultural Department reduced its prognosis of wheat production in Kazakhstan in the current year to 9,84 million tons, having remarked that 6,5 of it would be exported.
Virgin and fallow lands development in Kazakhstan started between the 19th and 20th centuries, together with the end of construction of the Siberian main railway line, which connected the European and Asian parts of the continent. The report of Mambetali Serdalin-Shubetov before the Commission of the Russian Empire Trade Development Senate on the 8th March, 1890 in particular, bears record to it.
The development of the virgin land in the period of the Soviet Union was the huge step toward the increase of the grain manufacture in the years of 1954–1960 due to the big land resources in Kazakhstan that were dealt with. From 1954 to 1955 only, 18 million hectares of land was cultivated in Kazakhstan. In March 1954, 250 thousands of young Komsomol members arrived in Kazakhstan for work, and alongside with them also 23 thousand of former Soviet Army soldiers. Huge loads of agricultural equipment, machinery and implements were being brought to the republic, and local spare parts plants were also developed. Communication networks were also upgraded in Kazakhstan, and residential, administrative and cultural buildings were being constructed in rapid pace. Whole cities were emerging in an almost bare steppe. The farming in 1953–1958 was developing in giant leaps: the area under crops expanded from 9,7 to 28,7 million hectares, the gross grain harvest - from 332 million to 1343 million puds (1 pud = 16 kg). In all, more than 597,5 million tons of grain was produced during the period of land cultivating in Kazakhstan.
The virgin land region of Kazakhstan produces majorly the durum wheat – one of the largest massifs of its manufacture in the world is located just here. Kazakhstani strong sorts are notable for their high protein and high nutritive properties. Despite the fact that the country is situated in the area of risk farming, and harvesting of cereals may differ every year for more than 50 per cent, Kazakhstan fully provides itself with bread and exports not less than 70 per cent of high-tech grains even in the worst harvest years.