GUARANTEE OF BOUNTEOUS HARVEST
Galla Bayramy - the annual wheat harvest festival - has long been an integral part of the calendar of important dates in Turkmenistan. At the same time, it is only recently that Galla Bayramy has indeed become a national festival during which the whole country celebrates the successes of farmers. The reason for such celebrations is that Turkmen farmers have invariably obtained high yields of crops in recent years.
The program of this year's festivities in the cities and villages included official meetings and celebrations in honor of best workers of the wheat harvest, contests, concerts, sport and equestrian events, thematic art exhibitions at the museums and other cultural events.
The Ashgabat Equestrian Sports Complex was the main venue of celebration of the wheat harvest. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov congratulated the people of Turkmenistan on this occasion. He noted that Turkmenistan's farmers achieved great success by harvesting 1.6 million tons of wheat this year. Addressing the agricultural workers, the head of state stressed that there is every condition for productive work of farmers in Turkmenistan that enable them to yield bounteous harvests on their land and live in prosperity using the fruits of their labor.
As is known, the agricultural sector plays a significant role in the economic policy of the country, which is aimed at strengthening the capacity of the national economy. As part of the agrarian reform initiated by the President of Turkmenistan, the agricultural sector receives targeted support by means of technical re-equipment and modernization of the production infrastructure of the agro-industrial sector, development of the chemical industry, provision of chemical fertilizers to farmers, solving the issues of land reclamation and water supply. The agro-industrial complex is supplied with modern tractors, combines and other equipment. Under the Program of Development of the Agricultural Sector of Turkmenistan for 2012-2016, new elevators with storages for selected seed wheat have been built in every province.
It is important to note that the agricultural sector is exempt from taxes and other compulsory payments. Farmers, peasant associations, landowners, machine operators are provided with preferential bank loans to cover expenses on agricultural production and purchase of equipment. A systematic rise of wheat purchase price offers a good incentive for rural workers.
In addition, large-scale investment projects are being implemented in all the regions of Turkmenistan that change dramatically the living conditions in the Turkmen villages. This work is carried out under the National Program on Transformation of Social Conditions in Villages, Townships, Cities, Districts and District Centers until 2020, the General Program on Provision of Clean Drinking Water to the Settlements of Turkmenistan and other large-scale social and economic programs.
It is very important in terms of progressive development of the country that Turkmenistan started exports of bread grain. One should also recall that Turkmenistan received a special award from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for its achievements in ensuring food security under one of the Millennium Development Goals that was incorporated in the FAO program for the period up to 2015. As a whole, all this is clear evidence of the successful implementation of the task to ensure food sufficiency, including by fully meeting the domestic demand for domestically produced bread.
The success of farmers in 2016 makes it possible to expect at least the repetition of the great result in the 2017 season too. It is expected that grain will be sown in 760 000 hectares of land, out of which farmers should harvest 1.6 million tons of grain in 2017, including 450 thousand tons in Akhal province, 380 thousand tons in Mary province, 350 thousand tons in Lebap province, 300 thousand tons in Dashoguz province and 120 thousand tons in Balkan province. Farmers are fully equipped with relevant agricultural machinery from the manufacturers such as Case, Claas and John Deere.