Turkmenistan has minimized the manual labor in cotton picking due to the ongoing reforms and the purchase of the necessary equipment – combines, tractors and other machinery, Kadyr Myradov, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor of the Turkmen Agricultural University named after S.A. Niyazova, told in an interview with the SNG.FM online radio on Monday.
The Turkmen professor said the local farmers has grown a rich amount of cotton, adding that the main task ahead is to harvest of the crop in a timely manner and without losses.
According to the professor, cotton production is an important branch of Turkmen economy with a significant contribution to the implementation of government programs to increase the export potential of the local industries. The country’s soil and climatic conditions create favorable conditions for growing medium and fine staple cotton varieties.
Focusing on the development of the country's textile industry, Myradov said this industry with organized modern production is equipped with innovative technologies. The country also actively erects new textile complexes in its regions. In August this year, a new textile complex, capable of annually processing 5,000 tons of fine-fiber cotton, was commissioned in Ahal velayat’s Kaka etrap.
“Equipped with modern equipment, the enterprise produces a wide range of high quality yarns, fabrics and finished garments. In this regard, Turkmen textile products are in high demand among the local population and in international markets,” Kadyr Myradov said.
Professor Myradov said the radical reforms in agriculture resulted in the increase of capacity of the cotton industry. The creation of a modern industrial and service infrastructure, the efficient use of land and water resources and the development of agriculture are important areas of these reforms. Turkmenistan invests a large amount of funds in land reclamation and irrigation, and in updating the technical base of the agricultural complex.
Highlighting that Turkmenistan very often purchases agricultural machinery from leading global brands, Turkmen professor said the harvesting period will see the operation of thousand new John Deere-9970 cotton harvesters, 2227 trucks, 2301 tractors and 3620 tractor trailers.
The country also attaches importance to scientific breeding, the creation of new high-yielding cotton varieties, the professor said, stressing that the country is taking concrete measures to digitize agriculture, introduce precision farming systems, advanced agricultural technologies, increase the profitability of farmers' associations and improve lease relations.
“All these measures are aimed at creating favorable working conditions and eliminating the use of manual labor of agricultural producers,” Professor Myradov noted.
The Turkmen Professor stressed that despite these creation measures, the tenants of the cotton fields are interested in the manual harvesting of their crop as this picking method results in harvest of high quality fiber and a decent payment. The state does not have the right to deny them such a desire and will always respect the work of farmers, provided they comply with the requirements of the Labor Code and other regulations governing activities in this area.
Farmers in all velayats of Turkmenistan, except for Dashoguz, have started harvesting cotton. Due to weather conditions, cotton harvesting in the northern velayat will begin on September 15.