agricultural crops. The agricultural sector contributes nearly 30 percent to the country’s GDP and employs more than half of the total employment. In addition, it is responsible for more than 30 percent of exports. Especially, cotton alone provides 30 to 40 percent of budget revenues in taxes.
During the past years, about 400 agricultural producers have been restructured into over 14,000 farms with 3.8 million hectares of cropland. The agrarian reform significantly affected Tajikistan’s agricultural sector and related institutions. 85.3 percent of meat, 86.5 percent of milk, 81.5 percent of eggs, 56.7 percent of vegetables, and 66.3 percent of fruit and berries were produced by the private sector in 2001. However, the major part of the most valuable irrigated land is still controlled by state and collective farms.
The major food and agricultural commodities produced in Tajikistan are wheat, potatoes, cow milk, cotton seed, and cotton lint. Cotton lint is the major exporting agricultural commodity followed by onion and fruit products. Sugar, wheat, flour, and beef are major importing agricultural items of Tajikistan.
Cotton is the major crop whose production covers more than 50 percent of the country’s irrigated land. Before the independence, Tajikistan’s cotton yield per hectare was the highest in the central Asian region with an earning capacity of 60 to 70 percent of production costs. However, cotton production dramatically declined after the independence and halt of centralized supplies of material and technical resources. Furthermore, world lint cotton prices have dropped by more than 50 percent in the past years while prices of fuel, machinery, and fertilizers keep growing.
In Tajikistan, cotton marketing and production are subject to the state administrative system, there is no competition among participants. Also local government imposes extra charges on cotton sales to boost its tax collection.