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Expensive Plants for a Poor Country: Tajikistan Spends Millions on Belgian Trees

Categories: Central Asia & Caucasus, Tajikistan, Citizen Media, Development, Environment

The authorities in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, have decided that expensive foreign trees are the best replacement for the hundreds of decade-old sycamores they fell annually [1]. According to Ozodagon [2] [ru], a local news agency, the authorities have imported over 3,000 chestnut trees from Belgium. Each tree costs about 1,500 US dollars, bringing the total cost of imported plants to about $4.5 million. 

Angered by the news, Tomiris writes [3] [ru] in her blog:

…Мы что живём по принципу “дорого = хорошо”?

Ответьте мне, ну какого х.. покупать такие дорогие деревья такой бедной стране? Чем их не устраивают бесплатные деревья, которые можно вырастить самим? 1500 долларов это средняя месячная пенсия 37 человек! Это средняя месячная зарплата 10 учителей или врачей!..

Мне одной кажется, что наше правительство окончательно е..нулось?

…Do we live according to the principle “expensive = good”?

Can someone tell me why the f..k does such a poor country buy such expensive trees? What don't they like about the free trees that can be grown locally? $1,500 makes 37 average monthly pensions! It makes 10 monthly salaries paid to teachers or doctors!..

Am I the only one who thinks that our government has gone f..king crazy?

Tomiris also tweets the story, sparking many reactions:

@tomiristj [9] You'll see, they will also purchase special soil for these trees – at $2,000 per tree.