DUSHANBE, January 4, Asia-Plus - Issues related to clearing off cotton farmers’ debt were discussed at a January 3 meeting presided over by Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov. 

Presidential press service said that the meeting participants had included heads of relevant ministries and organizations, chairmen of a number of districts subordinate to the center (RRP), as well as senior representatives from local banks and the missions of the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank in Tajikistan.  

The prime minister telling the meeting noted that the government has sought solution to the problems facing the country’s cotton industry.  During the meeting it was noted that development of the cotton industry, which is the main source of farm income and agricultural exports, has been hampered largely by the substantial and increasing cotton farmers’ debt to domestic and foreign creditors.  

Oqilov charged an independent government commission for resolving cotton farm debt to project amendments to Tajikistan’s Land Code and to bring the country’s agrarian legislation into compliance with this Code.  Besides, the commission is to work out a mechanism of providing loans to cotton-growing farms at the lowest interest rate.