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Turkmenistan eyes 1.05mn tons of cotton this season
Jul '13
The Central Asian country of Turkmenistan is expecting to harvest around 1.05 million tons of cotton this season from an area of 550,000 hectares, mainly in Mary and Akhal provinces.
Exceeding the Government’s estimates by 11 percent, last season the country reaped 1.235 million tons of cotton, much attributable to technological reforms.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov appreciated the country’s capacity to reap high cotton yields. However, he stressed on the need to timely undertake qualitative and agro-technical activities, to enable the agriculture machinery to reap good produce, Trendz reported.
Noting that successful execution of the cotton harvest campaign after its launch is of much importance, the President called on the provincial administrations to perform all tasks in strict adherence with agro-technical norms. 
He said it is important that activities like land flattening, soil enrichment, arable works and selection of high-yielding seeds for plantation, be carried out in a responsible manner to ensure high productivity.
In their spring sowing, Turkmen cotton farmers used around 5,500 seeding machines, tractors and other machinery to plant around 70,000 tons of some 15 high-yielding seed varieties like Yoloten-7, 133, C-2606,  9871-E and Yoloten-14, based on the soil and climatic conditions of the region.
Mary province has the biggest area under cotton cultivation extending to 165,000 hectares, while in Akhal and Lebap provinces the crop is grown on 120,000 hectares, over 140,000 hectares in Dashoguz province and over 5,000 hectares in Balkan province.
According to experts, the rise in cotton cultivation in the country is mainly stirred by the new system for payment for over-planned crops, introduced in 2012. The system proposes to provide about 30 percent interest premium on payment for over-planned crops. Also, it allowed the cotton growers to independently sell their over-planned harvest through the state commodity and raw material exchange.
Cotton is one of the key sources for Turkmenistan that can contribute to development of local textile industry and also generate foreign exchange through exports to countries like China, South Korea, Iran, Great Britain, Singapore, Turkey, Russia, Indonesia, Ukraine and Baltic nations.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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