FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 01/00 - TURKMENISTAN (3 February)
TURKMENISTAN (3 February)
Reports indicate that the area sown to winter crops has increased sharply to 680 000 hectares and that 190 000 tonnes of quality seed has been used in sowing. Reportedly, virgin land has been bought into production. The grain production target is 1.6 million tonnes. In addition, resources are to be allocated to farmers to expand rice production to 200 000 tonnes per annum in the coming three years. The country is planning further substantial imports of land improvement, irrigation and harvesting equipment in 2000.
The 1999 grain harvest is officially estimated at a record 1.5 million tonnes, nearly 300 000 tonnes above 1998, including 226 000 tonnes produced by private farmers. The area sown to grains fell to about 570 000 hectares but the import of high quality seed and increased use of fertilizer raised yields significantly. Given the difficult foreign exchange situation and the large 1999 harvest, cereal imports in 1999/2000 are expected to remain very low. The country has introduced excise duties as of 1 October 1999 to protect domestic production. These include duties of 50 percent on imports of flour and pasta and of US$100 on exports of ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
Good growing conditions also favoured cotton production and output almost doubled to 1.3 million tonnes.