Basic National Conditions and Agricultural Development in Uzbekistan
release time:2020-06-12 20:49 source:Shanghai Coorperation Organization Countries Regional Agricultural Cooperation Network

Basic National Conditions

Uzbekistan is rich in natural resources and is a country with relatively strong economic power in the CIS. Its economic power is only inferior to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The total land area of the country is about 42.5 million hectares, and agricultural land accounts for 62.6% of the total land area. Among agricultural land, the arable area reaches 4.7 million hectares, and the per capita cultivated area is about 0.2 hectares. The area of natural pastures is large, and the area of pastures accounts for about 51.7% of agricultural land. Uzbekistan is located in the lower reaches of the Syr and Amu Darya rivers. Surface water resources are relatively scarce, irrigation water consumption is relatively large, and the problem of water shortage is more prominent.

Agricultural Production

Uzbekistan is more developed in agriculture and animal husbandry. As of 2016, Kyrgyzstan’s agricultural output value was approximately $15 billion, accounting for approximately 30.77% of its GDP. The output of animal husbandry is about $5.49 billion. Cotton is a pillar industry in Uzbekistan, accounting for more than 1/4 of the field crop area, ranking sixth in the world. The output value of cotton once accounted for more than 50% of the total agricultural output value, making it the sixth largest cotton producer and the second largest cotton exporter in the world. Uzbekistan’s cotton acreage has remained at an average of about 1.5 million hectares since 1992, and the planted area accounts for 5% of the world’s cotton planted area over the same period. The quality of cotton is superior, Uzbekistan cotton is of good quality and mainly composed of medium-velvet cotton and long-staple cotton. Its lint export ranks in the forefront of the world, and it is the only country in the world which plants cotton but has no modern textile industry. Uzbekistan’s cotton industry is one of the country's two pillar industries, along with the aluminium industry.

In order to solve the food security problem after independence, the proportion of crops in Uzbekistan increased and the proportion of livestock products decreased, the area planted with food crops increased, and the area planted with cash crops and feed crops decreased. Uzbekistan adjusted the proportion of cotton and wheat cultivation, reduced cotton cultivation, and increased wheat cultivation, making it from a wheat importer to an exporter in 21st century. Uzbekistan is basically self-sufficient in wheat and ranks 24th among the world’s wheat producers. The output of food crops, potatoes and fruits and vegetables has increased substantially, and the structure of Uzbekistan’s agricultural products has been optimized.

Agricultural Technology

The outstanding technical problems faced by Uzbekistan future corps production planning are how to develop water-saving irrigation technology in dry-lands, introduce production materials technologies such as environmentally friendly fertilizers and pesticides, cultivate new crop varieties, organic fertilizer technology, and update the level of agricultural machinery and equipment. Although Uzbekistan is rich in water resources, due to backward irrigation methods and low irrigation efficiency, natural losses of water resources have reached about 50%, and ensuring the required irrigation water has been a long-standing problem. In order to effectively use and protect water resources, based on modern technologies and methods, the Uzbekistan government has implemented a series of large-scale projects, such as actively cooperating with various international organizations to achieve the rational use of existing water resources. In areas that have not mastered modern and efficient irrigation technology, the Uzbekistan government vigorously promotes modern irrigation technology and modern land resource management methods to increase crop yields while saving water and land resources. Uzbekistan mainly promotes agricultural modernization from the following priority directions: improving the level of agricultural technology; promoting advanced irrigation methods in water-scarce areas; cultivating high-yield, disease-resistant, and drought-resistant new crop varieties; improving livestock genetic characteristics, improving the quality of animal husbandry and veterinary work, and cultivating high-yield, disease-resistant new breeds of livestock.

Agricultural Policies

In order to improve the status of agriculture in the national economy and the contribution rate of agriculture to the national economy, the Uzbekistan government has issued a series of plans and bills to promote agricultural development, such as Land Law, Private Property Law, Private Enterprise Law, Farmer Law, Farming Law and so on. In addition, the president of Uzbekistan issued a series of presidential decree, further increased the country’s emphasis in agriculture, such as the presidential decree signed in 2009 on Expanding the Production of Food Commodities and Expanding the Domestic Market. Meanwhile, the Uzbekistan government formulated a series of policies and measures to promote the development of agriculture. The government provides land for famers to carry out farm construction, increases cotton purchase prices and famers’ enthusiasm for planting cotton. Except for cotton, other agricultural products are sold at market prices, which strengthens the freedom and flexibility of agricultural production. The government also gradually reduces the order of seed cotton, potatoes and other fruit and vegetable agricultural products from other country, vigorously supports the economic development of farms in rural areas, and encourages free business activities in rural areas.