Agriculture

Overview   

Agriculture is the 2nd largest sector by magnitude after nonmaterial, and provides around 70% of workplace, accounting for 25% of income from export and 35% of tax yield. Cotton is the main agricultural exportable product and accounts for 90% of the overall volume of agricultural products export. Other exportable agricultural products are raw and p ossessed fruits and vegetables (approximately 9% of exportable agricultural value) as well as silk and silk products (approximately 1%). In 2009 the production volume of agricultural products in all forms of farming was 14,8 billions Somoni that makes 43,5% of gross domestic product over the country.

Currently, more than 50 thousand peasant economies operate in the agriculture of the country, of which 126 are cooperative farms, 849 are peasant collective farms and 767 are associations of peasant (farm) economies. In whole, around 70% of the population lives in rural areas. Despite the absence of information on rural economy structure, available data indicate to the prevailing position of agricultural sector in production and employment of the population.

An average population density of 43 people per square kilometer is a low indicator in comparison to many Asian countries but at the same time is high in comparison to several other Central Asian countries. The majority of the population and the most productive share of agricultural sector of the country are located in the western part where 7% of land is defined as lowland and suitable for agricultural activity.

The bases of Agricultural Industry

Tajikistan has favorable climatic conditions for cultivating of many types of grain crops. The country has a continental climate with hot and dry summer in the lowlands, but cooler and more humid climate in mountain valleys and foothills. The soil is fertile enough in the south and in plateau valleys and is less rich in the northern valleys. However, the base of agricultural resources is characterized by restricted area of arable land, by large dependence on irrigation which is necessary for plant growing and by major area for continual pastures. Tajikistan's mountain topography limits the possibilities for agricultural production. Only 30% of Tajikistan's overall territory, approximately 4.1 million hectares can be used for agricultural production. Roughly 800 000 hectares of this land is arable that makes up approximately 0,21 hectares per person for rural population. The rest of 3,3 million hectares are pastures.

The main agricultural areas are located at a height between 300 and 1 500 meters, yet in the Pamir, such crops as vegetables, potatoes and barley grow at a height of 3 900 meters. Soil erosion is the main problem including erosion from wind on previous pastures, now used for growing wheat; water erosion and landslide, particularly in high-altitude areas. In whole, the area of arable land is decreasing. This relates both to pastures and to arable land.

Land use

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Arable land

857

803

735

714

718

699,2

Grain crops

101

103

98

98

98,6

98,6

Meadows

27

22

19

17

17,6

17,6

Pastures

3259

3236

3258

3065

3064,4

3064,4

Fallow

25

19

17

23

22,3

22,3

Total area of arable

4269

4181

4127

3917

3921,0

3902,1

Low level of precipitation limits the possibilities of agriculture production for which rain is essential and it also increases the dependence on irrigation necessary for plant growing. Nevertheless, water resources are in sufficient quantity and around 85% of all the arable land (720 000 hectares) are located within the irrigation system. Unaccomplished thought-out plan and a lack of appropriate management over irrigation, drainage and pumping systems in recent years resulted in decreasing efficiency of using water resources, raising of underground waters' level and increase of salinity in some areas. At present, only some 515000 hectares of irrigated land is used.

Inexpensive at cost price, river systems, supply about 2/3 of irrigated land, while pumping systems cover the rest. Cotton, wheat, fruits and vegetables are the main irrigated grain crops. As opposed to a high pressure in arable land, 3,3 million hectares of continual pastures are rarely used due to a decrease in livestock number which is observed after gaining independence (World Bank.2005a).

Cotton Subsector

Cotton remains one of the most important crops, occupying one third of arable land, two thirds of crop production alue and 75-90% of export. 85% of total fertilizers used in the country, also fall to the share of this given sector. Agricultural ecology conditions including 10 months of sunny days and abundant water resources are favorable for cotton production.

Cotton sown area is annually increasing and crop capacity is decreasing during the past few years at an average, crop capacity decreased from 2,8 tons off a hectare to 1,8 tons. The production of cotton products decreased from 600 000 tons of seeds to 200 000 tons in a year. In 2009, 412,2 thous. tons of cotton was produced.

During the past years, growth of crop capacity and expansion of land occurred at the expense of decline in manufacturers' actual prices, resulting in a slow growth of production value. Since cotton is highly important for the country's economy the government does not abandon to control the subsector. Though production distribution and processing were devolved on a private management, the government continues to value cotton as a strategic crop and maintains unofficial production plan which local bodies of power impose on.

The total processing power of 41 ginneries in Tajikistan is 1,1 million tons. Tajik ginneries at an average clean the cotton within 200 days while in western countries it takes 110-120 days. Cotton is planted in April and is harvested until the middle of November.

Livestock farming

Tajikistan has a great potential for cultivating competitive products in livestock farming sector and supplying products to home market. The analysis of livestock production indicates that the total number of farm animals and poultry is annually increasing on an average of 8-10 per cent. However, the number of pedigree livestock is annually decreasing on an average from 10 to 25 per cent. It is known that as a result of reorganization of former collective and state farms, three categories of farms were formed – agricultural organizations (cooperative productions, jointstock farms), peasant farms and personal subsidiary farms of population. The contribution of these farms in gross output of livestock products is quite unequal.

Thus, particularly, the share of individual farms in the production of all livestock products, except eggs and poultry meat products has been steadily growing in the past few years and is exceeding 85-90%. The contribution of this category of farms in the solution to the problem of supplying the population with livestock products is indisputable. Intrasectoral development data indicates that in 2006 the share of agricultural enterprises in the production of meat totaled 3,65 thousand tones (6,2%) of its total production. Accelerating the development of livestock production depends on many factors. Of paramount importance is the introduction of advanced technology for cultivating feed crops, rational use of natural lands and on the basis of that strengthening of fodder supplies, particularly in rural households. This in turn will ensure a full feeding, improved reproduction, complete implementation of breeding and productive qualities and thus increasing the overall production volume and accordingly improving the access of population to livestock products of their own production. Meanwhile, land resources are utilized more effectively in subsidiary farms of population. Per 1 hectare of agricultural land in private households, the gross livestock products are produced 8-9 times more than in agricultural or peasant farms.

Bee-farming

Bee-farming has a great potential for development in Tajikistan. Until the recent past, the number of bee-families was 150-160 thousand, 70% of which was concentrated among the amateur beekeepers. The production of marketable honey in the republic does not exceed 60 grams per person. This is 33 times less than a recommended medical norm (2 kg per annum per person). It is estimated that in order to achieve this norm, it is necessary to bring up the honey production to 12 thousand tones that will consequently require the growth of bee-families. There is a huge fodder supplies in Tajikistan for the development of this sector. Melliferous agriculture lands make up around 5 million hectares, which enable to bring up the production of honey to 30-40 thousand tones, beeswax to 8 tones, propolis to more than 300 kg, as well as to increase the production of royal jelly, apitoxin and ambrosia. The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan pays a keen attention to the fast restoration and development of bee-farming in all the categories of farms with diverse forms of property. By the resolution of the Government of Tajikistan #338 dated 1.09.2005 on the "Program of restoration and further development of bee farming in the Republic of Tajikistan for the period of 2006-2010", an increase of bee-families to 800 thousand and honey production to 10-12 thousand tones have been planned.

The main direction of the sector's development is breeding of purebred bees – Carpathian type and local population, breeding of early female bees, perfection and introduction of a batch method of breeding. The organization of a batch method of breeding production in a system of the Republican bee bureau, in numbers, meeting the needs of all categories of farms will speed the development of bee-farming particularly among the population.

Fish Breeding

Tajikistan has the largest volume of fresh water in the world. 60% of all Central Asian fresh water is located in Tajikistan. 1 300 natural pools with total volume of 705 square kilometers, 8 large water storage reservoirs with total volume of 556,31 square kilometers, 6 large rivers with total volume of 5 555 square kilometers, 5 large glaciers with total volume of 414 square kilometers are located in the Republic. Currently, Tajikistan utilizes 20% of its available potential. The republic's demand in fish products is 14 thousand tons. On the basis of water resources volume, Tajikistan has the potential of increasing its fish production to 50 thousand tons in future.

There are the following types of fish in Tajikistan: Trout, Asp, Grass Carp, Silver Carp, Sheat-fish, Carp, ikeperch, Bream, Golden Carp.