A comparative study on cotton production in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

A comparative study on cotton production in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

Center for Development Research (ZEF) report to evaluate the cotton production sectors in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan and to develop potential avenues for improvement.

In this report a broad comparison of the cotton growing sectors in these two Central Asian republics is presented, followed by specific recommendations for the cotton sectors of both countries that cater to their respective challenges. The broad conclusion that can be drawn here is that Uzbek farmers and stakeholders can learn much from the Kazakh experience. In terms of natural and historical conditions for cotton growing, there are many similarities between the two states. However, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the two countries have followed different trajectories with respect to market reforms, with high levels of government control over the cotton sector prevailing in Uzbekistan while Kazakhstan experienced a gradual relaxation of government control (Baffes 2007; Shtaltovna 2012).

Comparing these divergent experiences, the following recommendations for improving the performance of the cotton sector in both countries emerge from the analysis:

  • professionalisation of farmers should be encouraged;
  • farmers associations that represent farmers’ interests should replace state organisations;
  • communication between farmers and the state should be improved; cotton monocultures should gradually be transitioned to diversified cropping systems;
  • and on-site capacity for cotton processing should be supported. 
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