Turkmenistan: President proposes landmark changes for agriculture sector

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — Speaking during a meeting of Halk Maslahaty (People’s Council), the supreme representative body of Turkmenistan, on September 25, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov put forward a number of proposals on the reorganization of the country’s agro-industrial sector, State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported.

The head of state noted that the developed production infrastructure had been created, the comprehensive measures had been taken to improve lands, increase soil fertility, and introduce new irrigation technologies in the course of reforming the agricultural sector. But the President expressed dissatisfaction with the results achieved in the agricultural sector.

The President underlined the importance to reorganize the work of the agro-industrial sector and use all opportunities to get high yields through cardinal changes and renewal of the agricultural management system. In this regard the leader of the nation put forward a number of proposals for improving the work of the agro-industrial sector.

Among them is the possibility to transfer agricultural lands from the financially unprofitable peasant associations that have extremely low production outputs to other agricultural producers, who are able to work on the ground in the best way.

It was proposed to create a special land fund for allocation of land to farmers and organizations for a period of 99 years according to the Land Code of Turkmenistan.

It was also proposed to sow cotton and wheat on 70 percent of the sown lands, and cultivate other crops on the remaining 30 percent.

The next proposal was to draft the procedures so that the agricultural products manufactured by the peasant associations and agricultural joint-stock companies in excess to contractual obligations under the state order will remain at their disposal, with the right to sell these products at free prices.

President Berdymuhamedov emphasized that it is time to raise the government procurement prices for wheat and cotton as well as to establish incentive payments for the production of high quality seeds, which will encourage rural workers to obtain rich harvests.

It is necessary to provide the legislative support to the wide involvement of private entrepreneurs in the production of agricultural products, the development of the processing industry and the production of high-quality food products for export, the president said.

In order to improve the provision of vegetables and fruits to the population and increase their supply to foreign markets, it is proposed to create specialized peasant associations and other structures to process agricultural products near the velayat (provincial) centers.

Another proposal refers to the provision of preferential bank loans for the purchase of earthmoving equipment and bulldozers for reclamation works — at 1 percent per annum for a period of up to 10 years to the peasant associations and farms, agricultural joint-stock companies and specialized research institutes.

With the aim to develop the livestock sector and attract private investment, it is necessary to legislatively work out the issues of creating private farms to breed cattle and provide them with land for forage production, the president said.

In addition, President Berdymuhamedov put forward a proposal to develop a new program that defines specific areas for the efficient use of land and water resources in the country.

Sergey Kwan

TCA