Thursday, October 23, 2014


Transmission

Uzbekistan Pays Teachers With Chickens

The Uzbek government plans to distribute 60,000 chickens to public-sector workers.
The Uzbek government plans to distribute 60,000 chickens to public-sector workers.
Uzbek doctors and teachers got a shock this month when part of their salaries came in the form of...Serbian chickens.

More than 20,000 chicks have already been distributed to public sector workers in the Central Asian country's Vobkent district, in the Bukhara region, and an additional 40,000 will be handed out in the coming months.

Public sector workers get 10 chicks each under the initiative, launched after cabinet ministers in February urged regional governments to boost domestic production of poultry, eggs, meat, and vegetables.

According to local officials, the Serbian chickens are far superior to their Uzbek counterparts and are expected to start laying eggs within two months.

Officials insist the campaign is being conducted on a voluntary basis. Some of the recipients, however, told RFE/RL they had received the chicks against their will. This has been especially problematic for those living in apartment blocks.

"We were given a mandatory 10 chicks each," says Odil, a 32-year-old teacher, who spoke to RFE/RL's Uzbek Service. "Each chick costs 5,500 soms ($3). It's a little more expensive than local chicks. There is no way to refuse the offer; it was compulsory."

Critics say the cash-strapped Uzbek government is simply trying to cut costs.

But officials insist the campaign has been a success and are considering expanding it to other districts.

Such a success, in fact, that they are now mulling a cattle-for-cash program.

This time, the cows would come from Ukraine.

-- Barno Isakova and Claire Bigg
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by: Will from: USA
April 11, 2012 00:04
While I am against distribution of chicks against one's will, I don't think the Uzbek government is trying to cut costs. Chickens cost money to import, don't they?
Oh yeah, the first paragraph sounds kind of too sensational when only one tiny district public sectors are affected by the decision. They can easily sell the chicks in the market if they don't want to keep them. No big deal.

by: jay from: usa
April 11, 2012 17:08
I usually get my paychecks auto deposited. Can I get the chickens wired to my account electronically?

by: Sey from: World
April 12, 2012 04:55
At least they get paid with something. As a teacher myself, there have been times I haven't seen a pay check for months. I would have loved if someone had paid me with 10 chickens, at least I would have cut off egg spending. And my God I would have loved to receive a cow.

by: Charles from: Bishkek
April 12, 2012 08:28
I agree that the sensationalism and generalization expressed in the title does not reflect the reality. Charles

by: Coupal from: Canada
April 23, 2012 12:10
Where do you keep the chickens if you live in the city in an apartment? How many people know how to care for chickens? Baby chicks are very fragile and can easily "expire" (for a variety of reasons) before they ever get to be fully grown. In this case, the teacher could be left with nothing.

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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