Improving the sustainability of Uzbekistan’s cotton production

Uzbekistan is the sixth largest cotton producer in the world, and cotton production has a huge importance for the country’s economy. Still, the cotton production system was far from being efficient. And sustainability standards, as well as social and environmental concerns have long played only a marginal role.


Things are changing fast, however, as Uzbekistan’s cotton sector is currently undergoing a massive transformation, pushed by the government’s strategy to modernize the cotton industry through private sector involvement. Several reforms have been initiated, and the country has made great efforts to substantially improve working conditions in the cotton fields. And the Uzbek government has now presented a strategic vision for the sustainable development of the agricultural sector in its recently published Agri-Food Development Strategy 2030.


HFFA Research is proud to be able to contribute to this promising transformation process: In the frame of the project Sustainability and Value Added in the Cotton Economy, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), we have recently been commissioned by the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) to analyse the potential for introduction of sustainability standards into Uzbek cotton production.


Together with other experts involved in this project, HFFA Research’s Managing Director Steffen Noleppa travelled to Tashkent from February 1-6, 2020 to have a closer look at the current situation in Uzbekistan, and to meet with important stakeholders of the Uzbek government, and cotton industry. The necessary steps leading towards the gradual implementation of higher sustainability standards in Uzbekistan’s cotton production will be identified in the weeks to come.


More information on this project will be available on our website soon.