Foreign Policy Blogs

Uzbekistan: Cotton update– low card and ACE

I am still studying agricultural policies for my follow-up on the Green Revolution, ignored–but in the meantime, a juxtaposition of two recent articles:

Bales and BurdensA.   IWPR reports that several cotton farmers are facing criminal charges for failing to cultivate cotton and growing fruits and vegetables instead–crops for which they can be paid in currency at market value.   Twelve farms that were supposed to grow 40 hectares of cotton collectively had set aside 22 hectares combined for strawberries, onions, and other crops.  Another farm, geared toward livestock production, was enjoined by the state to grow wheat–and grew vegetables instead.

Both cotton and wheat are contracted by the state and mandated to be grown.  Cotton is one of Uzbekistan's major exports, while wheat is grown to increase national self-sufficiency. 

The story goes on to describe how poorly payments for cotton crops are managed by the state, with low payments for cotton often failing to be transferred to growers in a timely manner. 

Malaysia Cotton TwineB. New Malaysian-Uzbekistan trade relations are being forged with the development of the Asian Cotton Exchange (ACE).  Uzbekistan is the second largest exporter of cotton, and trade on the ACE could reach USD 1 billion annually, projected to occur by the fifth year.  Investors could see up to a 600% return on investment in the first year, with profits of ten million in the first year.  TTSB, who is setting up the Exchange, has two Memorandums of Understanding, one each with two cotton corporations in Uzbekistan.

Photos: Project Gutenberg;