by Ata Garlyev
In some Ashgabat markets, including Tashauz bazaar, Jennet, Mir bazaar and in state-run stores it is now impossible to find produce of the “Gush toplumy” company, owned by the CEO of Turkmenistan’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, Aleksandr Dadayev.
Chicken is still available in the Russian bazaar and Tekin market, but a limit of one chicken per person applies.Poultry is sold through the network of branded refrigerated produce, owned by “Gush toplumy”, which is available in every city market.
Chicken produced by this company costs 13 manats per kilo, which is the cheapest price in the country.Chicken offered by other manufacturers cost almost twice as much.
The price has been fixed and is monitored by the company, but it appears not very zealously as many privately-owned retail outlets resell this chicken meat at 20 manats and above.
There is less chicken offered by other producers in the market.Having no opportunity for free currency conversion and procurement of the required equipment, fodder and veterinary drugs, they cannot but increase prices whereas “Gush toplumy” has no problems with currency conversion, which gives a huge competitive advantage to the company owned by Turkmenistan’s main entrepreneur.
As of today chicken produced by this poultry factory is the basic food in the diet of most Turkmen residents due to its affordable price as beef and fish cost 20 manats per kilo and above.
Residents fear that the current shortage of chicken might entail a subsequent price hike for “Gush toplumy” products, which can hit hard in the pocket of many Turkmen households.
Many see this as malicious intent a gradual elimination of competition and access to unlimited currency conversion and the market monopolization provides extensive opportunities for uncontrolled cost regulation and generating maximum profit.