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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkmens Plan Boost For Sugar Beet Output

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan - Turkmenistan plans to raise sugar beet production to 300,000 tonnes this year from just 8,400 last year, an industry and energy ministry official said Wednesday.

The official in the former Soviet central Asian republic said beet would be grown on 20,000 hectares set aside for spring sowing.

Sowing is due to start on Feb. 15. State statistics agency Turkmenstatprognoz said the reason for last year's poor harvest was a decline in the sown area to just 3,000 hectares from a planned 15,000 hectares, as a result of water shortages.

The ministry added the whole planned harvest could be processed in a new refinery in the southern city of Mary, recently opened at a cost of $30 million.