As of 1998, cropland amounted to 1,322,000 hectares (3,266,000 acres), up from only 1,160,000 hectares (2,866,000 acres) in 1979; the cultivated area represents only 1% of potentially arable land. The high altitude, temperature extremes, long winters, and low precipitation provide limited potential for agricultural development. Crop production accounts for 3% of all employment.
Shortages of fuels and parts for agricultural equipment caused crop production to decline by 70% during the 1990s. Principal crops produced in 1999 (in 1,000 tons) included: wheat, 168; barley, 3; potatoes, 64; and vegetables, 47. Trade in agricultural products in 2001 consisted of $79.5 million in imports and $96.5 in exports.