The world's largest economies, such as the United States and Russia, are at the same time the globe’s largest agricultural producers. These countries with high share in global trade also play a significant regulatory role in agricultural markets.
Food security is one of the most important issues on the international agenda. That is why self-sufficiency in agriculture is one of the most important economic policies of states. A striking indicator of this is the policy that Turkmenistan has recently been pursuing to strengthen import substitution measures for products that can be produced domestically. Turkmenistan aims to develop agriculture and increase productivity through the mechanization of agriculture. The government foresees providing technical support to increase farmers' net profits, ensuring the use of all types of resources to increase productivity, and introducing innovations and technologies needed in the modern era.
Agricultural self-sufficiency and ability to produce in a way that does not require the import of basic needed products is important for national development. When importing any product, payment is made in foreign currency, which implies a decrease in the currency reserves of states.
This situation will be better understood if we give an example on the wheat. Wheat is the most produced agricultural product in the world. Today, the price of a ton of bread wheat in the world markets exceeds $400. Farmers in Turkmenistan aim to harvest a total of 1.4 million tons of wheat from their fields in 2022, which equals around $560 million.
Taking into account other domestic agricultural products, wheat production contributes to the reduction of imports and the possibility of saving foreign currency.
In conclusion, Turkmenistan's strategy to reduce imports of products that can be produced domestically is positive for both the country and domestic producers in the short and medium term. Turkmenistan can compete with other countries in terms of soil fertility and quality. Maintaining this competitiveness is also important for food security. Turkmenistan has shown that it can meet the domestic demand in basic food products, which is a clear indication of how accurate the agricultural policy in the country is, especially considering the sudden shocks that the countries are exposed to due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
PhD Candidate at Marmara University's Department of Political Science and International Relations in Istanbul, Turkey