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Tajikistan Agriculture and Fishing Overview
Agriculture and fishing
Although only 6 percent of Tajikistan's area is cultivable, agriculture employs over half of the workforce. This is because livestock management is a great industry. Wheat and cotton occupy about one-third each of the cultivated soil.
Agriculture is inefficient and is run by outdated equipment and old methods. Barley is grown, but cereal cultivation is not enough for the needs of the population. Mainly wheat is imported from neighboring countries.
Cotton is the country's second most important export product (after aluminum). The civil war in the 1990s hit hard on cotton cultivation and the harvests two decades later were no more than half what they were at the outbreak of the war. Grasshopper swarms and severe drought affect the crops for some years, which require irrigation. Almost all cotton is exported untreated, only 10 percent being processed in the country.
Rice, potatoes, vegetables and fruits are also grown. Most of the crops are found in Chatlon in the southwest and in Sughd in the north-west, while almost the entire eastern part of the country is not suitable for anything other than livestock management, mainly sheep breeding. Mulberry trees grow in the mountain areas, where silkworms are raised. In remote areas, there is also opium cultivation.
A privatization of state agriculture began in 1998. The stringent regulations have meant that the state has in effect maintained great control over the sector. The new owners are often former agricultural managers or others from the local elite - the rural majority often own no land at all.
Tajikistan has plenty of rivers and lakes and there is relatively extensive fishing. Several large ponds for fish farming are also available.
FACTS - AGRICULTURE
Agriculture's share of GDP
21.2 percent (2017)
Percentage of land used for agriculture
34.1 percent (2016)
Overseas trained imams are dismissed
The Tajik authorities decide that all imams who received their education abroad should be dismissed within two weeks and replaced with imams who are trained at the country's only educational site for religious Muslim leaders. The purpose of the decision is to try to prevent radical imams from spreading their ideology to their parishioners.
Homosexuals are registered
The State Prosecutor's Office announces that an official register of homosexuals has been established and comprises 319 men and 48 women. The information is presented in the authority's magazine Zakonnost, which says that the people will be "checked" but do not specify what to see. The magazine suggests that it is about reducing the risk of spreading venereal diseases. Homosexuality is not explicitly forbidden in Tajikistan, but is not seen with the gentle eyes of conservative Muslim society.
Criticism of "weak" EU statement
An EU delegation who visited Tajikistan says there are major shortcomings in the regime's respect for human rights but that "good progress" has been made on a number of points. The delegation mentions an improvement in women's rights, work to prevent domestic violence and good efforts to prevent torture. However, the EU report calls on the government to strengthen media freedom and religious freedom. Human Rights Watch describes the EU report as "very weak" and, in particular, criticizes the delegation for not addressing the vulnerable situation in which human rights lawyers are in the process.
China finances new parliament
China promises to contribute the equivalent of US $ 230 million to build a new parliament in Dushanbe, says a Tajik government source. Tajikistan is heavily dependent on China financially and this project may tie the countries even closer. China accounts for more than half of the Tajik foreign debt, equivalent to about one-sixth of the country's GDP.
The President's words of wisdom in book form
A book of President Emomali Rahmon's thoughts and words of wisdom has been printed in 500 copies and is also available for download from the National Library's website.
President Son becomes mayor of Dushanbe
President Rahmon appoints his son Rustam Emomali as mayor of the capital, Dushanbe, an important position if one wants to pursue a political career in the country.