Turkmenistan's quest for 'white gold'

Country's cotton industry, boosted by Soviet-era projects and government subsidies, becomes thorny issue.

    Turkmenistan produced more than 1.2 millions tonnes of cotton in 2010, a remarkable feat for a nation that is 80 per cent desert and extremely difficult to farm.

    Even so, Soviet-era irrigation programmes and government subsidies have kept up demand for the crop locals call 'white gold'.

    Critics say the quest for cotton is unsustainable with Turkmenistan expected to get only drier due to climate change and increasing doubts about its elaborate new irrigation solutions.

    Robin Forestier-Walker reports from the Ahal region.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    Revival: The Muslim Response to the Crusades

    This part of 'The Crusades: An Arab Perspective' explores the birth of the Muslim revival in the face of the Crusades.

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    Going undercover as a sex worker

    A photojournalist describes how she posed as a prostitute to follow the trade in human flesh.

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    Africa is not poor, we are stealing its wealth

    It's time to change the way we talk and think about Africa.