DUSHANBE, February 16, Asia-Plus - In 2005, farmers invested their funds in growing cotton in only 3.5 percent of the areas under cotton, while investors invested US$127 million in growing cotton in 96.5 percent of the areas under cotton, Asia-Plus has learned from Saidmurod Bahriddinov, head of the industrial crops department at the Ministry of Agriculture.  

According to him, productivity of cotton last year came down to 1.55 tons per hectare that was conditioned by a number of reasons.  

“Mineral fertilizers were used not in accordance with requirements of concrete plots of lands while by principle of egalitarianism,” said Bahriddinov, “The majority of agricultural machines have outlived their service life.”  The other problem is shortage of personnel engaged in watering the lands.  “Almost all men have left for Russia seeking better employment opportunities,” the Asia-Plus interlocutor said.  

On the plans for 2006, Tajik agriculture official expressed confidence that a new impulse will be given this year to development of the cotton growing sector in the republic.  “It is very important that the president himself paid attention to activity of investors and demanded that farmers should receive money directly from banks.”

“Following president’s remarks top managers of the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) have already discussed this issue twice,” Bahriddinov said, noting that before that representatives from Tajik central bank did not have close contacts with the agriculture ministry.   

“Meanwhile, this problem will be resolved only in the case if president’s orders are implemented,” the agriculture official concluded.