To diversify the country’s economy, FAO offers support for Turkmenistan’s agrifood sector
11 December 2021
- Turkmenistan is committed to reforming and strengthening the agriculture sector to meet national needs and withstand global challenges, and FAO stands ready to aid the country in this process.
Today, as an important milestone, the two parties signed the Country Programming Framework – a document framing their partnership for the period 2021–2025.
Being one of the Central Asian countries with territory predominantly covered by desert, Turkmenistan’s economy strongly relies on sectors other than agriculture, which provides only 10 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP). Still, developing the agrifood sector – the largest employer in the country – has great potential for diversifying exports and providing better chances for rural populations.
Transforming food systems also offers an opportunity for the country to adapt to climate change and meet global sustainability commitments.
Having these in mind, FAO is ready to support Turkmenistan in three areas: collecting and analyzing data related, among others, to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); contributing to a more productive, effective, and digital agriculture sector with an increased export potential; and helping disaster prevention and response, as well as sustainable management of natural resources.
The framework document was signed by Allanur Altyev, Turkmenistan’s Minister of Agriculture and Environmental Protection, and Viorel Gutu, FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia.
“A comprehensive development of agriculture can bring about an increased quality of life and reduced inequalities in rural areas, and even better nutrition for the whole population,” commented Viorel Gutu. “Among agrifood products, cotton textiles, fruits, vegetables, and cattle breeding have growth potential and FAO stands ready to apply expertise in realizing this in a sustainable manner.”
The priorities and expected outcomes of the Country Programming Framework are consistent with the government priorities of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.
Joint priorities until 2025
More specifically, FAO will support the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection and other related ministries and state agencies in strengthening institutional capacity on statistical data collection and reporting on agricultural development, production, and trade.
Digitalization is an important element of agricultural development. Through knowledge sharing and other means, FAO will thus help the Ministry and other relevant partners develop and use digital technologies and tools for improved rural livelihoods and agribusinesses and enhanced agricultural productivity and efficiency.
Turkmenistan can rely on FAO expertise in analyzing the potential of agrifood export markets and value chains, as well as recommendations to strengthen the export potential of the agro-industrial complex.
Under the third priority, FAO will support the country’s climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. In this context, the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection can benefit from help in locust-control operations and the management of wheat rust diseases, as well as assessing disaster needs in agriculture and developing mitigation strategies for disaster risk. Greater access to innovative approaches, digital technologies, and environmentally friendly solutions will lead to an efficient and sustainable use of energy, water, land, and other natural resources.