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Sustainable methods beget higher cotton yields
Apr '11
Sustainability is the key to harvesting a bumper cotton crop, aver experts who are helping Uzbekistan small land-owning farmers to increase yields.

In the 1960s, Uzbekistan, then part of the erstwhile Soviet Union, installed irrigation systems, in order to increase cotton production. Rivers that ran into the Aral Sea were diverted, leading it to shrink by two-thirds. Already arid soil became salinised and the land quickly degraded.

In 2011, little has changed, with cotton farmers adopting the same practices. However, an expert is of the opinion that it was valid then, given the large-scale production systems, but is inefficient for small-scale farming.

Researchers and experts are developing sustainable land and water use methods, by planting trees on degraded, marginal cropland inside the irrigated farming areas.

The government controls agricultural production and accounts for 33 percent of GDP. Farmers are given quotas for cotton and other crops.

The experts have suggested rotation of crops and application of fewer fertilizers. However, for widespread adoption, the methods proposed by the project need to be approved by local and national authorities.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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