Turkmen Watermelons Struggle to Compete with Iranian Imports


Chronicles Turkmenistan reports that Iranian watermelons are now cheaper than those produced locally.

Turkmen farmers were encouraged to plant watermelons on leased lands on the assurance that the crops would be irrigated at the state’s expense. However, given the high volume of water required to cultivate the fruit and the need for farmers to irrigate their crops twice per season, only those with the means, could afford to pay for their own pumps.

As stated in the publication’s report, “-That- was not enough to get a good harvest. Also, the cost of production, including irrigation and other costs, was higher than expected.”

The vast stocks watermelons imported from Iran to markets  in Meri and Lebap Velayats are significantly cheaper than local produce, selling at  4–5 manats (TMT) ($1.14–1.43) per 6 to 9 kilogram compared to  1.50 TMT ($0.43) per kilogram or an average of  7-8 TMT ($2– 2.29) per Turkmen melon.

As a result, Turkmen farmers struggle to sell their produce and are suffering significant losses.