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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 1998 → Enviro-economic imperatives and agricultural production in Uzbekistan : Modern responses to emergent water management problems

University of Kansas (1998)

Enviro-economic imperatives and agricultural production in Uzbekistan : Modern responses to emergent water management problems

McCray, Thomas Rex

Titre : Enviro-economic imperatives and agricultural production in Uzbekistan : Modern responses to emergent water management problems

Auteur : McCray, Thomas Rex

Etablissement de soutenance : University of Kansas

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 1998

Résumé
The independent Republic of Uzbekistan inherited an agrarian economy more suited to supplying foreign demands than to feeding, clothing and employing its own people. Neither the agricultural infrastructure nor the farmland and water resources of the country has been prepared for sustainable production. At the same time, agriculture in Uzbekistan employs forty percent of the workforce and is increasingly expected to feed the state population of twenty-three million, projected to double by 2025. Cotton alone generates more than two-fifths of net material product and three-quarters of Uzbekistan’s hard currency export income. Abstract : The independent Republic of Uzbekistan inherited an agrarian economy more suited to supplying foreign demands than to feeding, clothing and employing its own people. Neither the agricultural infrastructure nor the farmland and water resources of the country has been prepared for sustainable production. At the same time, agriculture in Uzbekistan employs forty percent of the workforce and is increasingly expected to feed the state population of twenty-three million, projected to double by 2025. Cotton alone generates more than two-fifths of net material product and three-quarters of Uzbekistan’s hard currency export income. Increased demands are made on finite reserves of water and arable land. But these resources are already degrading under current demands. Prevailing agricultural practices, therefore, present a serious challenge to sustainable agriculture in Uzbekistan, with repercussions even for the long-term viability of the state. The demise of the Aral Sea is only the most glaring example of Uzbekistan’s agro-environmental liabilities, most of which are tied to water mismanagement. Typically, tainted water is excessively diverted from its natural courses into leaky state canals and delivered to still more wasteful farm channels. From there it is over-applied to one of the world’s most thirsty crops, which is planted in naturally saline soils, whose mineral contents are pulled by the intense heat into the soil root zone. The result of such practices is commonly the poisoning of topsoil, requiring still more profligate surface washings, and ultimately rendering unproductive vast tracts of this agrarian country’s farmland. The impact of this sequence reaches beyond the Aral’s destruction and beyond water shortages and low yields on degraded soils, to polluted groundwater, damaged public health and ruined livelihoods and even to climate change, political corruption and lowered educational performance. The Government of Uzbekistan has committed itself to redressing its agro-environmental liabilities. Research, however, centered on the Bukhoro Oasis of the Lower Zeravshan Basin reveals the existence of certain persistent state and local policies, which are complicating agricultural reform in Uzbekistan. These entrenched policies include the following : (1) Extensive agricultural management continues, including the gross devaluation of water and soil resources ; (2) Privatization measures advertised to enfranchise the peasantry are largely subverted beneath state controls ; (3) Agro-geographic information is still treated as a privileged commodity, also undermining privatization in agriculture ; (4) Uzbekistan is a sub-regionally uncoordinated state, with problems specific to one area disregarded in other areas. The state is far from united in response to environmental dangers ; (5) The new independent states of Central Asia are likewise more economically competitive, than cooperative in responding to regional agro-environmental dangers. Overcoming these barriers to agricultural reform should prompt the divestiture and diversification of Uzbekistan’s largest economic sector. It could challenge the role of one of its strongest social organizers—the collective farm. And it would confront its greatest environmental agent of change—irrigated farming

Présentation (ALWELAIE)

Page publiée le 18 janvier 2018