After overcoming the crisis that followed the division of Soviet Union, the economy of Turkmenistan last years has entered upon a new pe-riod of development characterized by the modernization of existing structures and by the realization of numerous new productive initia-tives.
In spite of the predominant part played by the mining sector for the exploitment of the very rich natural resources with which Turkmeni-stan is endowed, agricultural sector up to now holds a part of great importance within the economic structure of the country. Historically limited in its development by the shortage of water, Turkmen agri-culture today benefits by the water resources brought to desertic re-gions of the country by the Karakum Canal, conveying for 1,100 kilo-metres the waters of Amu Darya through the Karakum desert to Ash-gabat. It made it possible to improve considerably the yields of cul-tivated areas and at the same time to start to cultivate lands that till the achievement of the canal, in 1982, were completely uncultivated. The most diffused farms are still the state farms. The main products of the agricultural sector for food provisioning are cereals, vegetables and fruits, while cotton is predominant among the products for the industry. On this subject, in particular, it must be underlined that this one has a part of great importance within the agricultural production of the country, since its exportation is, besides hydrocarbons, the most important component in the balance of trade of Turkmenistan. The production of cotton is gathered prevailingly in the regions situa-ted along the valley of the river Amu Darya. The sericulture is also widely pratised. Breeding, particularly diffused in the desertic regions of the country that are less suitable for agriculture, completes the framework of activities of the agricultural sector. The ovine breeding is the most diffused, aimed mainly to the production of astrakhan wool obtained from sheep of breed karakul, but also breeding of ca-mels and of horses of the valuable breed akhal tekin is widely diffu-sed.
A considerable part in the economy of Turkmenistan is played also by industry, essentially oriented towards the transformation of the raw materials produced in the country. On this subject oil refineries, recently modernized for the obtainment of products of high quality, are of primary importance. For the transformation of the raw mate-rials of the textile sector there are also important cotton mills and wool factories, the latters specialized in the transformation of the va-luable ovine wool karakul. Some mechanical and food industries are also important, while a part of first importance has to be acknowled-ged to factories for the production of carpets, an important traditional sector of the turkmen handicraft.

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