Fergana Valley - Agriculture

Agriculture

In Tsarist times, out of some 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km2) of cultivated land, about two thirds were under constant irrigation and the remaining third under partial irrigation. The soil was considered by the author of the 1911 Britannica article to be admirably cultivated, the principal crops having been cotton, wheat, rice, barley, maize, millet, lucerne, tobacco, vegetables and fruit. Gardening was conducted with a high degree of skill and success. Large numbers of horses, cattle and sheep were kept, and a good many camels are bred. Over 17,000 acres (69 km2) were planted with vines, and some 350,000 acres (1,400 km2) were under cotton. Nearly 1,000,000 acres (4,000 km2) were covered with forests. The government maintained a forestry farm at Marghelan, from which 120,000 to 200,000 young trees were distributed free every year amongst the inhabitants of the province.

Silkworm breeding, formerly a prosperous industry, had decayed, despite the encouragement of a state farm at New Marghelan.

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