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'Bright Spots' in Uzbekistan, Reversing Land and Water Degradation while Improving Livelihoods: Key Developments and Sustaining Ingredients for Transition Economies of the former Soviet Union

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Noble, Andrew; ul Hassan, Mehmood; Kazbekov, Jusipbek
Date: 2005
Agency: International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Colombo, Sri Lanka
Series: IWMI Research Report no. 88
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/4190
Sector: Agriculture
Water Resource & Irrigation
Land Tenure & Use
Region: Former Soviet Union
Subject(s): soil
water management
water pollution
land tenure and use
agrarian reform
Abstract: "Following the dissolution of the former Soviet Union (FSU) and the collapse of existing trade arrangements, the newly independent states of Central Asia have been left with the task of developing their own independent market economies. The region has undergone tremendous economic and social changes. Economies have shrunk, incomes have fallen, poverty has increased and food security has been compromised. Significant agricultural reform has occurred, mainly targeted at privatizing the large collective farms that were established during the Soviet era. These reforms include the establishment of smaller private and cooperative farms in order to improve the efficiency and equity of existing production systems. Within Uzbekistan, this move to privatize farms has, in the majority of cases, led to declining productivity and net incomes. However, there are instances where privatized farms and smaller collectives have been able to capitalize on these changes and perform at levels exceeding the norm. The objectives of this study were to identify the key attributes of these successful farms that have been termed 'bright' spots. A multistage purposive sampling technique was used to identify three cases in degraded areas of Uzbekistan, that is, locations experiencing a slow and gradual transition from a centrally planned economy to a market-based economy. Subsequently, we compared an improved farming system (research object) and the norm (control), closely analyzing each of the farming operations to identify the key drivers contributing to the success of the research objects."

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