nCa News and Commentary
President Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan is touring provinces to encourage and support the agriculture sector. In the first leg of the travel he visited two private farms in the Labap province on Tuesday (9 June 2020).
The first stop was a small private farm in the territory of Watan farmers’ association in the Charjev district. Berdymurat Narmevov, the leaseholder, has sown wheat on 20 hectares of land plot and expects a yield of 40-45 centners per hectares.
The crop is ready for gathering and the harvesting machinery started working in the presence of the president and the guests.
DPM Orazgeldiyev (agriculture) showed the president the samples of some agricultural produce that has been cultivated by the private farmers in the province.
The president said that the Agriculture Research Institute and other research institutions must support the farming community in their quest to expand the range of local produce, and improve the soil efficiency and yield per hectare.
From the farm of Narmedov the president went to land cultivated by the agricultural enterprise Tebigy Ekin.
Tebigy Ekin is owned by Rustem Byashimov and he has sown potatoes on 370 hectares of land. He estimates that the yield will be about 200 centners per hectare.
Byashimov employs more than 200 people on his farm.
He informed the president that the machinery for the collection of potatoes was purchased from Germany under the state support programme for the private farmers.
The surplus produce after meeting the state target will be sold directly to the markets, he told the president.
On completion of his visit, the president traveled to Mary province.
Whatever is going on, the people must eat. — This is among the first lessons learned by the world. Every country, whether affected directly by the pandemic Covid-19 or indirectly through its consequences, has to make sure that enough food remains available to meet the needs of the population.
To make it safely to the other end of this Covid tunnel, every country must maintain food security.
Food security in this limited sense consists of two elements: 1. The essential agricultural products including food grains, rice, vegetables, and fruit must be produced locally; and 2. They should be available in the markets at affordable prices.
President Berdimuhamedov, in recognition of the fact that the world will not be free from the consequences of this pandemic any time soon, has embarked on the tour to encourage the farming communities in Turkmenistan.
He has particularly chosen to interact with the private farmers, and the entrepreneurs engaged in the production of food products, to underline the fact that the private sector is expected to keep the markets stocked with the food products and the state stands fully behind them.
The decisions taken by the government during the past few years including the allocation of land on long-term lease to the farmers and entrepreneurs, the state support in purchase of machinery, seed selection, privatization of agriculture machinery, and short courses for vocational training of farm workers are coming handy now to help build food security.
Two concepts are at play:
- Basic Self Reliance
- Strategic Self Reliance
In our future commentaries we will discuss in some detail these two concepts. /// nCa, 10 June 2020