FAO/GIEWS - Foodcrops & Shortages 04/01 - TURKMENISTAN (22 March)
TURKMENISTAN (22 March)
The 2001 winter crop remains mostly dormant except in southern areas of Mary. The area sown to winter cereals is planned to increase to 775 000 hectares, 100 000 hectares more than sown last year. The production target of winter cereals has been raised to 2 million tonnes, following the reported achievement of the 1.7 million tonne target in 2000 and aggregate cereal production (including maize and rice) estimated at 1.8 million tonnes. However, most private sources find the production estimate unrealistic. On the one hand, land privatization and private responsibility for production under leasehold has provided incentives to maximize yields. The bulk of cereals is grown in the winter and escaped the worst of the drought, although rice and cotton, both spring crops, were affected. Cotton output fell by 20 percent. Reflected imports of wheat and flour have also decreased sharply. On the other hand, the fact that wheat, rice and cotton are crops which remain under state marketing orders, and for which inputs can be mobilized, could also mean that the areas sown are being overestimated and inputs are diverted to other foodcrops. Unofficial sources indicate that actual wheat yields are between 1.5-2.0 tonnes per hectare rather than the 2.5 –2.6 tonnes per hectare officially reported since 1999. Salinization due to excessive irrigation of fragile desert soils and poor drainage is a growing problem.
Imports of wheat have fallen sharply in recent years. However, data on trade is difficult to come by but there are reports of informal flows of wheat flour.