An integrated farm complex spread over an area of 1200 hectares was opened on Tuesday, 4 May 2021, in the Kaahka district of Ahal province of Turkmenistan. It is owned by a consortium of local private companies.
President Berdimuhamedov traveled by helicopter to lead the opening ceremony and encourage the entrepreneurs for their sizeable project that integrates modern engineering and water saving technologies to cultivate nuts, fruit, and vegetables.
There are four companies in the consortium, each of which has got 300 hectares of land on long term lease:
- Gök bulut
- Miweli atyz
- Datly miwe
The farm complex they have jointly established is named Miwe (Fruit).
The 3-stage water supply system that brings water from the Karakum River to the farm complex is a feat of engineering by the private sector.
In the first stage, six water pumps each with capacity of 400 kW, transfer the water to the supply canal. In the second stage and third stage the water is lifted by pumps to enable flow by gravity to the central reservoir which has the capacity to store 70000 cubic meters of water.
The total length of the supply canal from the Karakum River to the farm complex is 27.5 km.
In the open field farming, each partner of the consortium will retain its own preferences. Here is the planned annual yield of each company:
- Gök bulut – 370 tons of nuts, 520 tons of apples, 120 tons of plums, 140 tons of peaches, 1500 tons of pears
- Hemsaýa – 180 tons of almonds, 2100 tons of persimmons
- Miweli atyz – 340 tons of almonds
- Datly miwe – 320 tons of almonds
The consortium partners will share the greenhouse capacity, which covers an area of 80 hectares. They plan to produce 8000 tons of banana, and citrus fruit annually.
There are plans to build the cold storage facility and processing units.
The main method of watering the fields is drip irrigation with controlled addition of fertilizers. The process is automated by the digital system.
The opening of this farm complex marks the start of the next phase of the development of the agriculture sector of Turkmenistan.
There are three main features that have the potential for replication throughout the country and speeding up the transformation of the agro-industry.
The first is the partnership among the private companies in the agro-industrial sphere. The model they have created is based on sharing the resources for the sake of economy but retaining their own capacities and preferences for cultivation.
The sharing of resources is both upstream and downstream.
They have invested jointly in bringing water to the farmland and they will share in the cold storage and processing facilities.
This will enable cutting down expenses without compromising on the independence of decisions.
The second feature is the large scale use of water saving technologies as a norm rather than a novelty.
With paucity of water becoming an issue of concern worldwide, this is the right step at the right time. Water saving technologies definitely enable more yield from the same volume of water.
This will encourage the farming communities in the country to pool together to invest in water saving technologies.
The third factor is the distance between the source of water and the field. There is the need to register the fact that the farm complex is located 27.5 km away from the main source of water.
It is an example that will give confidence to other agro-entrepreneurs to bring into cultivation the lands that are located at considerable distance from the source of water.
The success of this farm complex, which has created 345 new jobs, will be a trendsetter. /// nCa, 5 May 2021 (pictures credit TDH)