The “rainy season” in Turkmenistan began with the tears of a 37-year-old official. The governor of the Akhal region, listening to a severe reprimand, could hardly cope with emotions in the high tribune. Prior to this patron patron of the guy, President Saparmurat Niyazov publicly obstructed him - bribes, alcoholism, official violations and finally, the disruption of the cotton campaign. “How is it possible that in the midst of the fields there is not a single soul, not a single car ?! No, they were not empty, I saw how around the crops and around them wandered aimlessly and trampled their abandoned animals, ”the author of the accusatory article wrote in the newspaper“ Neutral Turkmenistan ”. In fact, M.Atagarryev, who headed a large region a little less than a year ago, was prosecuted. Even his father was injured - the honored archeologist, who was immediately removed from an honorary academic position.
It so happened that the regional elite in the existing vertical of power of Turkmenistan is the most vulnerable. Few in their ranks could boast of political longevity, except for the “Hero of Turkmenistan”, the gray-haired Gedai Akhmedov, who has consistently led Lebap on the border with Uzbekistan for the past five years. But this time he also had to quit the race, and at the very height of the strada, about a month left before its completion. “Gedi, you have done a lot of unseemly things. Here are the materials on you from the prosecutor's office ... Because you are not going to prosecute the “Hero”, but because of serious shortcomings I release you, ”the head of state stressed, demanding that his family move to a small district in Ahal. In particular, it was reproached that Akhmedov managed to get his hands on all the departments, of which “one can“ pump ”money a little bit: oil and food bases, sanitary and epidemiological stations, and markets”. At the same time, the khyakim of the country's largest agricultural breadbasket — the Mary region of Tirkish Dzhumaklychev — and about a dozen district khyakims, who were found to have given large bribes to their supervisors, were dismissed. The president, conducting seasonal personnel castling, decided that the energy industry leader Ovezdurdy Chashayev, who led the largest power station in Turkmenistan, could save the situation in Mary — former deputy khyakim Khoja Byashimov, in Ahal — financier, now ex-vice-premier Amandurdy Myratgulyev. “You will cope with cotton and I will return to the vice-premier,” Niyazov concluded, signing a decree on appointment. The remaining two chapters of the Balkan and Dashoguz regions are promised after the celebration of the Independence Days. In the end, the only one who received praise for field success was the Minister of Defense. Niyazov, not without satisfaction, said that the military are doing well in their areas of cotton and cattle grazing. “They pick cotton. And milk is produced, and meat and butter. " According to information leaked to the Ukrainian media, the external factor could also affect the failure of the collection of raw cotton. Turkmenistan allegedly did not get enough to pay off mineral fertilizers and other products from Ukraine for natural gas, which led to "the disruption of planned work in the agro-industrial complex of Turkmenistan." URA-Inform reports that from November 1, for this reason, the official Ashgabad may decide to turn off Turkmen gas.
One way or another, but the current harvest is largely lost. Out of 2 million 200 thousand tons of state cotton raw cotton will be collected at best, as Niyazov himself declared one million. In a dry country experiencing an acute shortage of water resources, every year less and less valuable raw materials are collected, and plans and ambitions are increasing. The plank, approved from above, with 650 thousand hectares of land was taken once - in the late nineties they collected 1.3 million tons. Last year, Harmans received half as much, and achievements in past times were unremarkable. In parallel, hundreds of American funds are purchased by the state treasury, which often breaks down and stands idle. The reasons for the bunch of failures are usually called: depletion of land, ill-conceived water consumption, exorbitant pressure on villagers, who at the same time sow grain and weak material motivation.
This season, due to late maturity in fields, it has not been possible to proceed to a large-scale machine assembly for more than ten days. In many farms, including Ahal, defoliation was not carried out at the proper level. The use of cotton harvesting machines has led not only to a deterioration in the quality of the valuable technical raw materials being collected due to the presence of green leaves, but also to the disabling of the working parts of the combines. So, manual assembly again, as in previous years, remained the basic means of achieving the presidential goal. As usual, in the early fall, enterprises, institutions and schools froze in the provinces for a time. Contrary to the widely publicized presidential ban on child labor, the harmful practice in the field, unfortunately, remains. The Turkmen Initiative, headquartered in Vienna, states that on September 5, students of the Pedagogical and Medical Schools were sent in full to remote areas of Dashoguz Region. “There they will live and work for two and a half months. College students from 15 years old, ”the information says. There are common cases when teachers and government employees, including ambulance personnel, have to pay off semi-lab labor. Often they simply hire the unemployed.
The International Crisis Group (ICG), a non-governmental organization dealing with conflict prevention, in its well-known report warns that continued reliance on cotton may lead to social, political and environmental problems in the region. According to the document, the cotton economy is characterized by forced labor, environmental emissions and the potential for public disagreement. “The governments of these three countries - Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - are still heavily involved in the agricultural sector. If they refuse to intervene or give instructions “from above” on paper, the governments of the region in fact often dictate to farmers what to grow. Thus, it is also a political issue - a question of political control, ”informs the ICG.
As you know, at one time tsarist Russia introduced monoculture in this region to replace imports of American cotton. This idea was picked up by the Soviet empire and on the rails of a “planned economy”. Turkmenbashi supported this baton. Seriously and for a long time.