Tajikistan to lease farmland to Chinese

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Central Asia Online | 18 January 2012
Farmers harvesting cotton in Tajikistan (Photo: Carolyn Drake for The New York Times).

DUSHANBE – Tajikistan says it will allow Chinese farmers to rent 200ha of southern Tajik farmland, Regnum.ru reported January 17, quoting Agriculture Ministry spokesman Narzullo Dodoboyev. The fields in Yovon District, Khatlon Oblast, in question are unused at this time, Dodoboyev told Radio Free Europe (RFE/RL) January 17.

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The leases range from two to five years, he told RFE/RL, and the Chinese would sell their produce in Tajikistan. The Chinese already lease land in Rumi District, Regnum.ru reported. The Chinese promised to invest US $2m (9.5m TJS) in the Yovon and Rumi District farmland, Dodoboyev told RFE/RL.

Yovon and Rumi districts in Khatlon Oblast are well suited for growing cotton, former Tajik agriculture minister Vahhob Vohidov told RFE/RL January 17, adding the Chinese farmers likely want to stay in Tajikistan.

In 2011, Tajikistan ceded 1,142 sq km of territory to China.
Original source: Central Asia Online
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