Tajikistan expects 390,000 tons of cotton this year
The cotton producing districts have yielded some 46,000 tons of raw cotton by September 12, which is more than 11 percent of this year's cotton target, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Asia-Plus reported.
The source at a MoA says the national target for this year has been determined at 390,000 tons of cotton. According to him, more than 115,000 people are currently involved in a cotton-picking campaign across the country.
We will recall that farming units in the northern Sughd province have allocated 62,500 hectares to cotton this year, districts subordinate to the center have allocated 17,000 hectares to cotton cultivation this year and cotton farmers in Khatlon have allocated 130,500 hectares to cotton cultivation this year.
The MoA experts says cotton yields are expected to stand at 2.4-2.5 tons per hectare in Sughd, 2.5-2.6 tons/ha in Khatlon and more than 2.7 tons/ha in Hisor Valley; average cotton yields are expected to stand at 2.6 tons/ha.
Last year, Tajikistan yielded 310,513 tons of raw cotton from 160,400 hectares, which was 10,500 tons more than it was originally planned and 3.2 percent (13,500 tons) more than in 2009.
In the meantime, 12 cotton-growing farms in the northern Sughd province have already fulfilled their cotton targets. Ayubjon Ochilov, the deputy head of the Sughd agriculture directorate, says some 11,000 people are currently involved in the cotton-picking campaign in the area and they have yielded the first 1,000 tons of cotton to date.
Cotton makes an important contribution to both the agricultural sector and the national economy. Cotton accounts for 60 percent of agricultural output, supports 75 percent of the rural population, and uses 45 percent of irrigated arable land. At the national level, it is an important source of both export earnings and tax revenue. Cotton fiber accounts for some 15 percent of Tajikistan's exports. Tajikistan is reportedly the world's fourth largest exporter of cotton, and there is strong demand on international markets for its high quality product.