Tajikistan plans to extend areas under cotton this year at the expense of areas allocated to cereals, according to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoT).

An official source at a MoA says 187,500 hectares of agricultural lands will be allocated to cotton cultivation this year, which is 13,500 hectares more than last year.  

Tajikistan is also extending areas under potatoes.  Areas under potatoes will also be extended at the expense of areas allocated to cereals and fodders.

“The Ministry of Agriculture has worked out the prognosis of the structure of the agricultural crops sown areas,” the source added.  

Local experts attribute recommendations to extend areas under cotton to the increase in the international cotton prices.  

Recall, Tajikistan last year yielded nearly 380,000 tons of raw cotton.  The 2017 cotton target has been determined at 356,000 tons.

Last year’s warm days and observance by farming units of cotton cultivation requirements allowed cotton growing district to fulfill the 2017 cotton target in a timely fashion.

In 2012, Tajik cotton growers yielded 418,000 tons of raw cotton, in 2013 – 393,000 tons, in 2014 – 372,000 tons, in 2015 – 335,000 tons, and in 2016 – only 270,000 tons.

In 2012, Tajikistan allocated some 200,000 hectares of agricultural lands to cotton cultivation, while in 2016, only 160,000 hectares were allocated to cotton cultivation in the country.  

However, cotton makes an important contribution to both the agricultural sector and the national economy.

Along with primary aluminum, cotton has been one of major export items for Tajikistan.  In 2015, cotton fiber accounted for 23.1 percent of Tajikistan’s exports.  In 2016, cotton fiber’s share in Tajikistan’s exports fell to 16.1 percent.  Last year, cotton reportedly accounted for an estimated 13.5 percent of Tajikistan’s exports. 

Only six percent of the country’s land is arable, and over 20 percent of Tajikistan’s arable land is under cotton cultivation.