Factors of sustainable development: Provision of food abundance
Realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted by all state members of the UN, is one of the key direction of the policy pursued by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Economic, social and ecological priorities of 2030 Global Agenda were implemented in major national and profile programmes including the programmes of development of agricultural complex.
Significant success has been achieved in provision of food abundance, which is an important factor of wealthy life of people, due to deep reforms in agricultural complex of the country and comprehensive support of small and medium business provided by the government. The input of agrarians to Domestic Growth Product of Turkmenistan is growing steadily – it has exceeded 10 percent in 2019. At the same time, two third of agricultural production is made by private entrepreneurs.
By the outcomes of 6 months of 2020, the growth rate of agricultural complex was 115.7 percent including 116.8 percent were achieved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Protection, 106.1 percent by the State Water Management Committee. The volumes of agricultural and food production of the Union of industrialists and Entrepreneurs have increased by 28.7 percent.
Having produced more than 1,400,000 tons of wheat, Turkmen grain producers have fulfilled the state order for production of grain. The President nots that satisfaction of requirements of local market in wheat of own make is very important in the context of provision of food abundance, which is one of the Sustainable Development Goals
Qualitative changes in food sector are direct result of thoroughly thought strategy of Turkmen leader, which is targeted to comprehensive support of national producers.
Systematic measures for modernization and diversification of agriculture and other branches of agricultural complex are taken according to this strategy. Together with grain and cotton production, livestock and poultry farming, vegetable, fruit, grape and cucurbitaceous crop production, apiculture and other agrarian business are actively developed these days.
Big word is carried out for optimization of cultivated areas, increment of production of agricultural crops and soil fertility, development of virgin lands, solution of irrigation issues, introduction of advanced technologies, development of profile science, selection and pedigree work.
Significant financial resources are allocated for renewal of technical fleet of agricultural complex, which is provided with modern tractors, harvesters, excavators, bulldozers and other latest equipment from the leading world agricultural equipment producers from USA< Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea.
For example, John Deer is one of the oldest and reliable partners of Turkmen agricultural producers. The world famous American brand has been presented on local market for more than 25 years. Around 8,000 units of various agricultural equipment and machinery of this brand have been supplied to our country for this time.
IPS Agri Joint Venture has been opened with the head office in Ashgabat and service centres in the regions. Fruitful cooperation has been established in the sphere of training of personnel, improvement of professional qualification of local specialists, many of which had a training at John Deere facilities and training centres of Europe and USA.
It is worth to highlight that objectives of technical and technological modernization of the industry are solved on innovative basis taking into account the Concept of development of digital economy in Turkmenistan approved by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. In particular, high-productive John Deere equipment, which was bought by the country in 2013 – 2019, will be equipped with telematics digital electronic control system.
New models of tractors, sowing machines and cultivators have been already delivered by John Deere this year. It is worth to mention that all modifications of equipment, which is bought overseas, has to undergo mandatory test on compliance with local soil and climate conditions.
Representatives of private sector buy John Deere agricultural machines and equipment on the credit received from banks. The President of the country has issued relative Resolution for provision of government financial support of entrepreneurs in January this year.
In the beginning of July, on behalf of the Government of Turkmenistan, the State Bank of Foreign Economic Affairs has signed Credit Agreement with John Deer Credit Inc. to the amount of more than 42 million US dollars related to financing of 85 percent of the cost of agricultural machines and equipment, which is bought by entrepreneurs – individual and legal entities, from John Deere Walldorf GmbH & Co.KG.
It is worth to remind that special land funds of agricultural purpose, from which land plots have been given for long-term lease to joint stock ventures, farming associations and other agricultural producers, have been established according to the decisions of the People’s Council and Resolutions of the Head of the State.
These lands are designated for cultivation of wheat, cotton and other vegetable and cucurbitaceous crops, potato, grape and fruit trees on contractual base.
The government procurement of production, exemption of farmers from taxes, provision of technical services, seeds, mineral fertilizers, pest control chemicals on beneficial terms, all these measures of financial and economic support of agricultural producers give proper result and enhance the interest in results of work.
Tenants and private companies, successful work of which during harvest campaign President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov inspected during working trips to the regions in JJune this year, are examples of this.
Adoption of the State Programme of import substitutive production was an important step toward development of food sector of national economy satisfaction of population’s demand on wide variety and high quality of food products. Dozens of projects, including the projects in agriculture and food industry, have been accomplished under the programme.
Production clusters are established in every region; big livestock and poultry farming complexes of full production cycle starting from cultivation of forage crops and feeding of young animals of elite breeds until raw material processing into meat and dairy products ready for sale have been and continue to be built in every region. The product range includes various cheese, cold cuts, milk, yoghurts, sour cream, butter and many other.
Staged privatization of livestock farms together with cattle, sheep, camels and birds on their balance is carried out.
Hothouse farms specialized in cultivation of tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, egg plants, mushrooms and other vegetable provide the population of cities and villages with fresh products all year around.
As it was mentioned, the adopted programmes and plans of development of agricultural complex involve practical implementation of objectives for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of social, economic and ecological orientation.
Holding an active position in solution of current modern issues, Turkmenistan stands for intensification and expansion of fruitful cooperation in the UN format, with International Fund of Saving of Aral Sea and with other competent organizations and structures trying to support optimization of cooperation in water issues and adaptation to the climate change.
Initiatives proposed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the Un Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, the UN Summit on Sustainable Development after 2015 under the 70th session of the UN General Assembly and other big international forums are aimed at this.
These initiatives include the proposal on opening of the Regional Centre of Technologies related to the climate change in Central Asia in Ashgabat as well as on development of the UN Special Programme for saving of Aral Sea and the UN Water Strategy.
The relation between thoroughness of activities related to water management and level of agricultural production is obvious. Following this, modern improved technologies from soil improvement and rational water resource management point of view are actively introduced to agriculture.
In this context, implementation of the project of construction of Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake, which is designated for collection of drain waters from irrigated lands of the country, received special significance. If before this water was dumped to Amudarya River and Karakum desert, flooding the pastures, now, Turkmenistan has become the first country in the region that refused such practice.
In addition to improvement of soli condition of agricultural fields, the country has made a reserve of water, which due to natural filtration and application of modern technologies can be used for agricultural needs including for development of new lands, expansion of pasture territories as well as for irrigation of plantations and technical needs.
Scientists of the Academy of Science, in particular the Institute of Chemistry, which personnel have published monographs and articles, developed ecological map of Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake, accomplished 5 projects of ecological and water management orientation of this artificial water reserve, are carried relative studies in this field.
In addition, scientists and specialists of the Institute of Chemistry monitor air, soil, and water conditions of Altyn Asyr Turkmen Lake using modern portable laboratory made on the chassis of KAMAZ truck. This is the only laboratory of this kind in Central Asia.
Proper measures are taken for modernization of existing and construction of new water reserves, water treatment plants, water ways and other facilities under implementation of the General Programme of provision of settlements of Turkmenistan with pure drinking water and programme of social and economic development of the country.
At the extended session of the Cabinet of Ministers on July 3, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov ordered to activate work for development of agriculture, especially in water provision, enhancement of land productivity, development of virgin lands, having highlighted importance of solution of these issues in the context of global problems related with the world pandemic.
We have to introduce water saving technologies to production using advanced practice of foreign countries, the Head of the State said, having requested to accelerate the implementation of the programme of further improvement of ecological condition of Karakum Desert.
More than half of Turkmenistan’s population is living in rural areas, 47 percent is engaged in agricultural industry. Therefore, development of agricultural complex make fundamental effect on improvement of the wellbeing of the citizens of the country.
At the same time, not only production but social sphere received new impulse for development for the years of implementation of National Programme of the President of Turkmenistan for improvement of conditions of rural population until 2020.
Quality of medical services and education has been considerably increased owing to wide-scale programme of construction of health protection facilities, kindergartens and schools, which meet international standards. Life of rural citizens becomes more comfortable; thousands of families have moved to new comfortable houses.
According to the above-mentioned Programme, 1,300,000, 000 manats of investments have been developed according to the above-mentioned Programme. 14 big facilities, 509,000 square meters of living to the amount of 1 billion manats have been put into operation.
Volumes of agricultural production made by agricultural personnel are systematically increased. Modern villages built in the regions are quite exemplary in this aspect. Each house in the village has 1.2 – 1.6 hectare of land where the tenants can make a garden or plant trees, built necessary auxiliary facilities for livestock and poultry.
Therefore, rural residents have an opportunity to grow fruits and vegetables, produce meat and dairy products for own needs and for sale in the markets, in other words to have additional source of income.
At the same time it is important in the conditions of growing global threats to continue working on development of agricultural complex and food sector of the country not stopping at what was achieved. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov repeatedly pointed attention at this subject at the sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers and video conference sessions with the heads of agricultural complex and regions.
Thus, sown areas allocated for growing of onion, potato and other vegetable and cucurbitaceous crops are expanded in accordance with assignment of the Head of the State. 21,000 hectares have been allocated in total for planting of autumn crops.
Relative measures are taken for further improvement of the management system of agriculture, improvement of profitability by enforcement of scientific component, implementation of advanced world practice in this sphere as well as marketing mechanisms and expansion of private sector.
The Programme of social and economic development of the country in 2020 – 2025 provides the opening of new production facilities of agricultural processing and chemical industries, which would provide agricultural complex with mineral fertilizers.
In general, all of these will support successful solution of set objectives for increment of product abundance in local market by production of own make and its export.