Kyrgyzstan - Agriculture



Kyrgyzstan produces cotton, sugar beets, vegetables, potatoes, grapes, melons, tobacco, fruits and berries, grain, wool, and meat. Total agricultural production dropped in 1992 from earlier levels and then began to rise. The disruption in farm inputs such as seeds, farm machinery, and agricultural extension services, along with transportation difficulties and weak consumer demand, led to the drop in output. After the effects of the market transition from communism began to be felt, overall agricultural production began to increase after 1996. However, livestock and wool production, 2 of the traditional mainstays of the Kyrgyzstan rural economy, continued to decline due to slack demand for products such as hides and wool and new competition from Turkish, Chinese, and other suppliers.

In connection with the Kyrgyzstan government's goal of maintaining an open market and liberal economic order, the government has avoided intervention in the agricultural economy through price supports and targeted subsidies. This policy contrasts sharply with that of neighboring Uzbekistan, where the government has continued to maintain a major presence in the agricultural economy. Kyrgyzstan instituted a land reform program to transfer use rights to land from the Soviet-era large state farm cooperatives to individual farmers. By 1999 over 90 percent of Kyrgyz farms were held in private hands with long term (99 years) use rights. Farm land may be bought and sold and transferred through inheritance. The CIA World Factbook reported that 55 percent of the Kyrgyzstan workforce was engaged in agriculture in 1999.

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