Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.
My country Uzbekistan with the population of about 31 million people has already been experiencing negative results of climate change, which is first of all related to intensive development of cotton production in Central Asia. This had led to the tragedy of the Aral Sea which was result of wide cotton growing. This aggravated conditions for farming, increased population’s poverty, in particular in pre Aral sea area. The climate became more arid and with less snow. Population of Central Asia is growing together with national contradictions, connected with rational water and energy distribution between Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries, as Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan (e.g., a huge hydro power stations “ Rogun -1 , Rogun -2” are under construction in Tajikistan).
During 1990th collective farms were changed into private farm enterprises. In the course of time, it helped to reduce corporate expenditures, improved maintenance of plants and led to the growth of yield of the crops. In order to reach food security the government reduced area of cotton fields in favor of grain and vegetables. As a result cotton production was reduced by approximately 1.7 times and grain production has grown about 5 times and reached the figure 8 million tons in the year 2016.
Four years back the Uzbek government adopted a state program on modernization of agricultural sector on the bases of technological renewal. This program envisages production of 60 new kinds of machines, including vertical spindle cotton-harvesting machine. They will be used to improve the quality of cotton fiber. At last Uzbekistan managed to start processing 50% of raw cotton grown domestically. Overall, achievements in grain growing, cattle breeding, poultry farming and vegetable production made it possible to achieve food security. It was confirmed that modern technologies and rational irrigation systems recommended by UNDP will save 15–20 % of water resources by 2020.
Land which was previously used for cotton production has been poisoned with mercuric metals. Concerning the quality of agricultural products we can say that maximum allowable concentration of nitrates is often higher, than it must be. Due to the impacts of climate changes, the number of threats on vegetable diseases is increasing. As a result of dry winter in 2015–2016, tomatoes and potatoes crop in Uzbekistan was two times less, than it had been expected.
UNDP programs recommended farmers who live in removed districts to use bio gas and solar penults. The state is going to finance such projects in order to support their income and to change life to a better side.