Agriculture

Agriculture is one of the key branches of the economy. Its main task is to ensure adequate food supplies for the country. It accounts for more than 20% of country's GDP. Agricultural production is mainly concentrated in the oases of the country. Other zones provide desert pastures used for livestock. Practically all agriculture in Turkmenistan depends upon artificial irrigation. Of the total amount of water resources, more than 90% are spent on agriculture.

The area of agricultural land is over 40 million hectares. The groups currently engaged in agricultural production include 590 peasant's associations, 2.100 farmers' associations, 785 subsidiary holdings of enterprises, more than 8.000 private commodity producers and over 600.000 family plots.

During a time of transition a new legislative basis is required for the reform of land ownership. The core of this is provided by the Land Code of Turkmenistan. The main Laws of Turkmenistan in agricultural sector are following: "On Peasant Farms", "On Peasants' Associations", "On the Leasing of Land to Foreign States", "On the Transfer of Land as citizens' property for commodity agricultural production" and a number of others.

In the last 10 years radical changes have taken place in the agrarian sector. Production relations have undergone far-reaching reform: forms of property have changed and private enterprise in now developing.

At the present stage of the reforms the government is assisting the development of the agrarian sector: it has set up a system of tax-exemptions and credit mechanisms and made available 50% reductions for payments demanded from commodity-producers growing cotton and wheat on a contract basis for material and technical services.

The share of private commodity producers is becoming larger and larger. As part of the transition to private ownership, contracts for leasing land within former collective farms are becoming more and more widespread in rural areas. The current share of leased land in agricultural enterprices amounts to 83% of irrigated tillage, while leased cattle account for 71% of the total and leased sheep and goats for 71%. In crop production the number of leaseholders is over 375.000, while in livestock breeding the number is approximately 22.300.

In the year 2006 the private sector was responsible for 80% of the total output produced in this branch: it also accounted for 98% of the potatoes grown, 75% of the vegetables, 80% of fruits, 90% of meat, 95% of milk, 93% of eggs, and 83% of wool.

Per capita production of principal products (in kilograms)

 

Construction of the "Turkmen Lake" will be a great significance for the development of agriculture. The implementation of this huge project will help resolve social and ecologica-economic problems facing the country today and potentially in the future as well. This project will rationalize the use of drainage water, which is currently being discharged into the desert, the Sarakamysk Lake and partly into the Amu Darya River: it will lead to a significant increase in the country's water reserves by collecting them together in an enormous reservoir - a man-made sea, so that they can reused to supply the needs of the economy, and without doubt, to provide the basis for increasing of production of agricultural crops. Due to the diversion of up to 10 km? annually of drainage water into the Turkmen Lake, the ameliorative state of irrigated land will be improved. Its total area will reach 2.240.000 hectares. This will create a foundation for a significant increase in agricultural yields and will be an additional guarantee for consolidating self-sufficiency in food in today's Turkmenistan.

One of the important tasks in achieving self-suffiency in food is to increase the efficiency of water resources management by, among other things, building hydro-technical installations and pumping stations.

Turkmenistan's private agricultural sector will be developed further and will become a major sphere of commodity production.

The implementation of the planned measures will ensure Turkmenistan's self-sufficiency in food, concentrate financial resources for the implementation of large-scale economic and social programs and crate all the necessary conditions for emergence of a land-owning class in Turkmenistan.

The contacts of Ministry of Agriculture: (993 12) 35 19 95, 34 82 97.

 

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