DUSHANBE, January 20, Asia-Plus -- A total debt of cotton-growing farms in Tajikistan to investors that was formed since 1997 has amounted to US$227 million, First Deputy Agriculture Minister, Ismonqul Subhonov, remarked at a news conference in Dushanbe on January 18.  

“To solve this problem a special commission led by Fayzullo Kholboboyev, State Adviser to the President for Economic Matters, has been set up,” Subhonov said, noting that the commission is studying contracts concluded between farming units and investors and fulfillment of obligations by investors themselves.  

On the preparations for new cotton sowing campaign, Subhonov noted that in Sughd and Khatlon provinces, meetings had been organized with participation of investors to discuss timely provision of farming units with fertilizers and fuel.   

“By government’s resolution investors this year remit funds to banking accounts of farming units and heads of farms will do with funds and purchase fuels and other supplies by themselves,” said the first deputy agriculture minister, “Financing will be carried out via local banks.” 

In 2005, 293,000 hectares of lands were sown with cotton and 447,000 tons of raw cotton were yielded, while the national cotton target has been determined at 610,000 tons.  This year it is decided to reduce the areas under cotton by 38,000 hectares and the national target for this year has been determined at 550,000 tons.