Uzbekistan will significantly reduce the volume of raw cotton production from 3.35 million tons to 3 million tons until the end of 2020, according to President Islam Karimov, speaking on Friday at an expanded meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers .
“We are talking about a phased reduction of production and state purchases of cotton from 3 million 350 thousand tons to 3 million tons by 2020, “ said Karimov
Despite the decline of the volume of raw cotton produced, we will fully meet the demands for raw materials of the textile and light industry, as well as maintain a solid position as a supplier of cotton fiber and its derivatives on the global markets.
By reducing the production of raw cotton by 350 thousand tons, we release about 170.5 thousand hectares of irrigated land, mainly where cotton yield is not more than 12-15 quintals per hectare, which is considerably less compared to the average of 26.1 centners per hectare. Mainly saline land and land in the foothill areas unsuitable for growing cotton is released.
Equally important for such decision was the fact that there has been a sharp fall in prices and demand for cotton at the world market, in the recent years, the President said.
"Vegetables will be sown on the fields released from cotton, including potatoes, fodder, oilseeds, established orchards and vineyards," he said. At the same time an increase in exports of food crops is expected.
It is planned to increase production volumes of cereals to 8.5 million tons with an increase of 16.4 % , increase production of potatoes by 35% , other vegetables – 30% , fruits and grapes - 21.5% , meat - by 26.2% , milk - by 47.3% , eggs - by 74.5 % , fish - 2.5 times .