Two of the governors have subsequently been fired and three others have been reprimanded.
 
Niyazov has said that reports on cotton planting in spring were "massively falsified" and that only 38 percent of the planned 2.2 million tons of cotton have been harvested this year.
 
Turkmenistan and another ex-Soviet Central Asian nation, Uzbekistan, both experienced scandals in the 1980s after prosecutors discovered widespread corruption, and the distortion of agriculture reporting.
 
Niyazov, a former Communist leader, has ruled Turkmenistan, a country of five million people, since 1985.
 
He maintains a Soviet economic planning model and opposes importing flour.