Leader hands Cadillac to grain growers

“In the era of might and happiness, Lebap’s courageous workers put in a big contribution to our country, which is moving ahead with the swiftness of a racehorse,” Berdymukhamedov was quoted saying by the state newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan.

Berdymukhamedov, who has run the secluded Central Asian country since the death of eccentric dictator Saparmurat Niyazov in 2006, sets the plan for grain harvest which the Lebap province already exceeded this year by harvesting over 350,000 tonnes.

To reward their efforts, he has ordered the awarding of a Cadillac Escalade, a US-made luxury sport utility vehicle not sold in Turkmenistan and extremely rare for the country, where even government officials do not use American cars.

The car would be used for “work” by the provincial government, the paper said. The former Soviet republic rich in energy deposits still has the trappings of a Communist planned economy, and is mostly desert, though much of its population is involved in irrigation farming, predominantly of cotton and wheat. 

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