Tajikistan heads for record cotton harvest this year, Director of Agriculture Institute says
Sunday 14 August 2011
DUSHANBE (Asia-Plus) – Dehgans (دهقان) from Kurgon-Teppa region of Khatlon District started to harvest medium-fiber cotton, director of the Agriculture Institute of the Tajik Academy of Agriculture, Dr. Saidjamol Saidov told the AP.
According to him, cotton growers from Kanibadam have also started to harvest Tajikistan’s main agricultural crop, Asia-Plus reported. “Next week cotton growers from Kurgon-Teppa area will start to harvest fine-fiber cotton,” he stressed. He also said that the early harvesting campaign, which started 10-15 days earlier as compared to the last year’s campaign, is the direct result of dry spring and high summer temperature.
According to forecasts, cotton harvesting campaign in Hissar region will start after September 1st, while in north Tajikistan it is scheduled for September 10th.
“According to our forecasts, Tajikistan is able to harvest at least five hundred thousand tons of cotton this year. This will be a record cotton harvest since independence,” he said. He also stressed that according to calculations, fine-fiber cotton harvest may exceed 15.000 tons.
An average cotton production in northern part of the republic will make 24-25 centners/ha, in south Tajikistan - 25-26 centners per ha and more than 27 centners/ha in Hissar Valley. “Therefore, we forecast this year’s average cotton harvest to make 26 centners per ha,” Saidov added (1 centner = 100 kg).
Cotton makes a critical contribution to both the agricultural sector and the national economy of Tajikistan. Within the agricultural sector, cotton accounts for 60% of agricultural output, supports 75% of the rural population, and uses 45% of irrigated arable land. At the national level it is an important source of both export earnings (15%) and tax revenue. Tajikistan is the fourth largest exporter of cotton, and there is strong demand on world markets for its high quality output.