The agro-industrial complex plays an important role in the economy of Turkmenistan. It provides food independence, and is also a raw material basis for a number of industries — primarily food and textile, as well as the pharmaceutical sphere.
In an interview to CentralAsia.news, Valentin Trapeznikov, an economic observer, said that according to the results of the first half of 2022, the agro-industrial complex of Turkmenistan showed good economic results.
Great results in the fruit and vegetable production
Thus, the growth of total production in the whole agro-industrial complex compared to the same period last year amounted to 110,1%. The plan for the development of investments was fulfilled by 163,3%.
High indicators have also been achieved in the crop production. In particular, over the six months of this year, the volume of production of vegetables, melons, potatoes, fruits and berries and grapes exceeded the level of January-June 2021 by 14,8%, 18,3%, 20,7%, 9,7% and 5,3%, respectively. Such high rates of production have been achieved mostly at the expense of private farms. Crop production is developed in all regions.
For example, in vegetable production, the leading positions are occupied by Ahal and Mary provinces of Turkmenistan — more than 89 and 82 thousand tons, respectively, with an increase compared to the previous year by 12,8% and 8,3%. At the same time, during the analyzed period, the highest growth rates of vegetable production were achieved in Dashoguz province — more than 30%.
Ahal province significantly outperforms other regions of the country in the production of melons both in terms of gross volume (40.8 thousand tons) and growth rate — 41,7%.
Mary province excels in the production of potatoes — more than 99 thousand tons with an increase of 28,3% compared to the previous year. The second and third places in terms of the volume of harvested potatoes are occupied by Ahal and Lebap provinces — 79.7 and 73.9 thousand tons, respectively. At the same time, Ahal province has the maximum increase in production compared to the previous year — 52,4%. A high increase in potato production was also registered in Balkan province — 34,2%.
The main positions of food independence
At the end of July 2022, the grain growers of Turkmenistan successfully completed the state order for the production of wheat. They harvested about 1 million 500 thousand tons of grain which is higher than the indicator of 2021 goals — 1 million 400 thousand tons.
The dynamics of the development of the livestock industry showed a satisfactory result. So, as of July 1, 2022, the number of cattle in all farms of Turkmenistan amounted to 2494.0 thousand heads, which is 0,7% higher than the corresponding date in 2021, sheep and goats — 21303.0 thousand heads (an increase of 0,5%), birds — 22001.3 thousand heads (1.4%), camels — 143.1 thousand heads (1.7%).
For the six months of 2022, the volume of meat production in the country’s farms amounted to 311.2 thousand tons, which is 1,4% more than in the same period in 2021, milk — 1304.8 thousand tons (an increase of 0,5%), eggs — 751.1 million pieces (0.4%), wool — 25.8 thousand tons (2.7%).
A certain regional specialization has been formed in the livestock industry of Turkmenistan. For example, Dashoguz province specializes in dairy farming. It has the largest number of cattle — 1082.9 thousand heads, which is approximately twice as much as in Lebap and Mary provinces and 4 times more than in Akhal province.
In the first half of 2022, almost 559,000 tons of milk were produced in Dashoguz provinces. It is 1.9 times more than in Lebap and Mary provinces.
In terms of meat production in the analyzed period, the leading position is occupied by Mary province — 77.4 thousand tons.
Ahal province became the leader in the production of eggs in the first half of the year — about 196 million pieces.
The potential for land efficiency
The development of the agro-industrial complex in the analyzed period is dynamic. At the same time, in order to further improve food security and provide the population with a variety of food products, a number of measures are taken to improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector.
In particular, to reduce dependence on food imports, the area under cultivation of certain agricultural crops is expanded. First of all, these are potatoes, fruits and berries, pistachio, sunflower, corn and others.
For the development of the fodder base for livestock and poultry farming, the cultivation of a wide range of forage grasses and other crops used for the preparation of feed additives and concentrates is also increasing.
The use of the subtropical potential of Turkmenistan is gradually expanding to grow both traditional crops for our country — olives, pomegranates, lemons, figs, persimmons, and new ones — bananas, and other subtropical plants.
The increase in areas for agricultural crops under conditions of special water use, characteristic of the arid zone, is inextricably linked with a significant expansion of the use of progressive water-saving irrigation technologies. These are sprinkling, drip irrigation, as well as the introduction of water distribution automation and the construction of closed irrigation systems, which significantly reduce the loss of irrigation water during its transportation to the fields.
Increasing the efficiency of the domestic agro-industrial complex is based on the use of a complex of world scientific achievements in this area.