Uzbekistan to cut cotton production in favor of other crops

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan will until 2020 reduce the production and state purchases of raw cotton from today’s 3.350 million down to 3 million tons a year, Uzbek President Islam Karimov said at the Government meeting on January 15, Novosti Uzbekistana reported.  

The president said this production volume will fully meet the needs of Uzbekistan’s textile industry for raw cotton with its deep processing and at the same time allow retaining Uzbekistan’s position as a leading cotton exporter.

Reduction of cotton production by 350 thousand tons per year would make some 170 thousand hectares of irrigated farmland available for other crops. That is mainly saline and foothill land with low cotton productivity of 12-15 centners per hectare (the country’s average is 26.1 centners per hectare).    

These former cotton plantations will be used to grow vegetables, potato, fodder and oil-bearing crops, as well as plant orchards and vineyards.

Due to optimization of land use and introduction of the latest agricultural technology Uzbekistan plans by 2020 to increase cereals production by 16.4 percent (up to 8.5 million tons), potato by 35 percent, vegetables by 30 percent, fruit and grapes by 21.5 percent, meat by 26.2 percent, milk by 47.3 percent, eggs by 74.5 percent, and fish 2.5-fold.   

The president emphasized that implementation of this plan will help increase the export of the above products.

It is also important that the price of cotton has been steadily falling in the world market in recent years.

Sergey Kwan

TCA