Agricultural sector will recover on command
By Sayara Djumabaeva
Only after 1 mln tons of cotton had been harvested by the Turkmen peasants, the President ordered the people to clear the fields of cotton stalks and start preparing the lands for the new crop. The «main agriculturalist» of the country did not take into account the fact that it was already the second half of December.
For the northern provinces of Turkmenistan, i.e. the entire Dashoguz and a part of the Lebap velayat, the order from above came too late: snow and frozen ground prevented the daikhans from taking the tractors to the fields. Thus, tens of thousands of hectares designed for cotton crops remained unploughed.
Kutlymurat I. from the Alisher Navoi`s daikhan association (former kolkhozes) in the Dashoguz velayat cannot hide his indignation: «I knew that I would be whipping the cat. We could have cleared the field of cotton stalks already by 10 November and got started with the planning works but I was not allowed to use the tractor. I even wanted to do it the old way: to dig up the stalks with a hoe and collect them manually but the head of our daikhan association prohibited this. He said the following: your spot of land is right next to the road; if the khyakim notices your initiative, we will both suffer. We haven’t received the instructions to do this yet».
Despite the reforms proclaimed by the President G. Berdymukhamedov in the agricultural sector, he and all the governmental officials are still practicing command management.
As in the army, the orders should not be discussed but unquestionably executed, since, as a rule, they come from the President. Therefore, any initiative undertaken by the tenants, agronomists or heads of the daikhan associations is considered a sign of disrespect towards the «commander».
Thus, immediately after the President had announced «the tremendous victory achieved by the Turkmen daikhans» who contributed to «having yielded over 1 mln tons of cotton in the country» and had given the order to the khyakims to implement «immediate measures to lay down firm foundations for future crop», everything started moving. This happened not earlier than mid-December.
Not Kutlymurat alone but also all cotton growers of the velayat have irrevocably lost time. The command to launch the fall-winter field works was finally received; however, not much can be done now.
Kutlymurat and his neighbors are sure: the agricultural labor will be effective when it is the daikhans who decide, taking into account the season and weather conditions, on what work to carry out on the fields and, considering the demand, determine what to grow.
Saparmurat Turkmenbashi established a tradition to instruct the country’s farmers when to start the sowing campaign and when to complete, let us say, the irrigation of the lands. Daikhans hoped that the evil practice of the command administration in agriculture would disappear together with Turkmenbashi`s epoch. It seems that all hopes were in vain…