DUSHANBE , January 19, Asia-Plus - This year, areas under cotton in Tajikistan will have been reduced by 38,000 hectares and the national cotton target for this year has been determined at 550,000 tons, Deputy Agriculture Minister, Bahrom Abduhalimov, told journalists on January 18.  

According to him, due to reduction of the cotton fields it is planned to increase areas under cereals and vegetables as well as fodders.  “It will facilitate reduction of poverty as well as realization of the food program,” Mr. Abduhalimov noted.    

Speaking to journalists the deputy minister said that last year, they started working out the national strategy of development of Tajikistan ’s economy and the Ministry of Agriculture was charged to work out a program on food security and development of the agrarian sector.  

“In the cotton-growing area, one of components of this program provides for settlement of the cotton debt,” said Abduhalimov, “There will be no results until we change the mechanism of financing the cotton-growing area.” 

 “It is to be noted that over the past several year, a fertile layer of lands has sharply deteriorated.  As a result, we have practically lost forage basis for cattle breeding.  If we had not reduced the areas under cotton, we would had not been able not only to yield 600,000 tons in coming two-three years but we would had also been forced to reduce number of cattle by halves,” said Abduhalimov, “Therefore experts from the Ministries of Agriculture and Economy have convinced the government of the necessity of making amendments to the prospects and plans that were adopted earlier.”