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Turkmen President Angered By Poor Grain Yield

Wheat production is a significant part of the agricultural sector in Turkmenistan.
The authoritarian leader of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, has fired his agriculture minister after a disappointing grain harvest.

Merdan Bayramov, who served in the post since January 2011, was replaced by his deputy, Rejep Bazarov.

Other officials in the agricultural sector were also replaced.

The wheat harvest this year fell 25 percent short of the 1.6 million-ton state target.

Prices for bread at state-run stores increased threefold on July 6.

Staple foodstuffs are heavily subsidized, meaning the cost increase will have little direct impact except for very poor people.

Berdymukhammedov announced the moves during a cabinet meeting on July 6.

Based on reporting by AP and ITAR-TASS