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Economy, agriculture and food security
In 2010, the gross domestic product (GDP) was US$20 001 million, of which the agriculture sector accounted for 12 percent, in 2000 it accounted for 24 percent.
In 2011, the total economically active population was 2.4 million, or 48 percent of the total population. The economically active population in agriculture is an estimated 0.7 million (29 percent of total active population), of which 53 percent is female.
Practically all the rural population possess irrigated land ranging from 0.01 to 0.25 ha for small-scale agricultural production, mainly fruit, vegetables, beans, berries and for raising cattle and poultry. A considerable proportion of the urban population possesses rural irrigated land of up to 0.01 ha, used to grow agricultural products for their own consumption. During the past years the urban population has tended towards accessing their rural plots to keep cattle and poultry (National Bureau, 2000).
In 2004, about 576 large-scale farm associations and 600 other legal entities, took part in large-scale agricultural production (Turkmenmillihasabat, 2005). About 6 100 individuals participated in medium-scale production and more than 620 000 families engaged in small-scale agricultural production.
The Government priority is to ensure food self-sufficiency by focussing on key food products. Wheat and rice are the main traditional crops cultivated to ensure food security. These crops are closely correlated to large-scale irrigation schemes. Individual rural entrepreneurs produce 99 percent of potatoes, 69 percent of watermelons, 24 percent of grape production, 82.5 percent of meat, 96 percent of milk and 93 percent of eggs. The population’s food demands are met by large-scale irrigation schemes, small-scale production and imported goods. In 2004, the importation of cattle breeding stock amounted to US$55.6 million, crops to US$28 million and animal and vegetable oils and fats to US$13.9 million (Turkmenmillihasabat, 2005).