The western Turkmenistan province of Balkan would not be harvesting cotton during the next season, due to low yield received in the current harvest period.
The decision to discontinue cotton cultivation in the Balkan province was taken at the recent Cabinet of Ministers meeting chaired by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who congratulated the cotton growers of the country for fulfilling their contractual obligations for harvesting cotton, reports the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH).
However, though cotton growers in the Balkan province managed to fulfill their commitments as per the contractual obligations, the yield of cotton grown in the province was very low compared to the yield received from other provinces like Mary and Akhal.
During the meeting, it was recognized that cotton yield in the province was less than 10 tons per hectare, and hence the decision was taken to stop cultivating cotton in the Balkan province, and the volume of cotton which was estimated to be harvested in the province would now be grown in Akhal and Mary provinces from next season.
Deputy Prime Minister of the country Rasit Meredow announced that cotton farmers from the Lebap province have also fulfilled their contractual obligations, and as of now cotton growers in the country have collected 1.13 million tons of cotton, and are still under the process of cotton picking.
Cotton harvest was launched in the Central Asian country in late August and farmers had undertaken to harvest at least 1.5 million tons of cotton. The harvest campaign was initiated mainly in the Akhal, Mary, Lebap and Balkan provinces of the country.
The cotton harvest campaign was launched as a part of the ‘Program of development of agricultural industry of Turkmenistan for the years 2012-2016.’
Cotton is the main cash crop of Turkmen agriculture and one of the main exports of the country, second only to energy resources.
Last year, the Turkmen cotton growers fulfilled their contractual obligations and produced about 1.1 million tons of raw cotton.
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