Uzbekistan’s farmers have fulfilled their contractual obligations before the state during this year’s cotton harvest, collecting over 3.35mn tonnes of cotton, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has noted in a congratulatory statement. Last year, that figure stood at 3.4mn tonnes, according to news website EastTime.info.
Uzbekistan is one of the world's largest exporters of cotton, producing over 3m tonnes of raw cotton and 1m tonnes of cotton fibre annually. Cotton is a major source of revenue for the country, raising roughly $1bn in export earnings for the government in 2013, Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev told the 10th International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair in Tashkent in 2014. Uzbekistan has agreed to export 700,000 tonnes of cotton-fibre in 2016, compared to 580,000 tonnes in 2015, according to contracts signed with foreign companies at the 11th International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair, local news website UzDaily.uz reported on October 17.
In his statement, the president mentioned that this year’s cotton harvest had been partly affected by unanticipated climatic factors such as snow and cold weather during March as well as anomalous levels of heat during early summer. Nonetheless, 90% of the cotton yield was high grade cotton, the president’s statement said.
Despite the concerns over forced labour and child labour coming from international human rights groups, the country’s cotton industry continues to thrive and receive aid from international sources. The development of the textile industry is one of the priorities of the country. The country is planning to direct $918mn to 77 projects in the textile industry by the end of 2019, UzDaily.uz reported on October 15.