“This case study considers the pros and cons of cotton production in Uzbekistan. Since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, revenues from cotton taxation have contributed substantially to developing the industrial sector, boosting the current account, achieving energy and food-grain self-sufficiency, and buffering domestic shocks in food and energy prices. Nonetheless, some argue that the state procurement system hampers the development of the agricultural sector. Often the payments for cotton hardly cover farmers’ production costs, and the quasi mono-culture of cotton production has adversely affected environmental sustainability.”
Uzbekistan is a top world producer and exporter of cotton. There are many sectors involved in managing the cotton commodity chain to partake in the production. Not only is it a source of income, but provides labor jobs and food consumption. However, the land where the cotton production takes place is suffering. This land faces many types of land degradation that has an impact on the cotton. In order to secure the land, there are possible solutions and policies to improve the agriculture and the cotton benefits. Once the world’s fourth largest lake, the Aral Sea, is located in Uzbekistan, and has had a major impact on the cotton industry. This production has given Uzbekistan a world-wide reputation in cotton production, but is also known for destroying one of the world’s largest lakes. Just because it is your greatest economic competitive advantage, doesn’t mean that it is environmentally sustainable.
Questions to Ponder: How much does the cotton production contribute to Uzbekistan economically? What are the solutions to address the demising Aral Sea? Who is impacted the most because of the land issues?