Russian authorities have discovered the South American tomato moth in nine tonnes of tomatoes imported from Turkmenistan. This is not the first time Russian agricultural inspectors have found pests during inspections of Turkmenistan produce.
At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of people seeking medical attention for diarrhoea in Turkmenistan. Experts link to poor customs controls and corruption that allow the import of fruit and vegetables with pests and insects that subsequently spread.
The Turkmenistan government claims to be fighting pests in agriculture. But experts are urging Turkmen authorities to follow global agricultural standards, invest more in the sector, support local entrepreneurs and small farms, and limit imports of agricultural products.
Local specialists also note the need to develop domestic production by introducing new technologies in the agricultural sector.