Abdullah Begmatov, a cotton farmer in Uzbekistan, is excited about his cotton harvest this year, which he credits to advanced irrigation techniques from China and the guidance of Chinese experts. Begmatov’s family has lived in the Syrdarya region for generations, and in 2020, he partnered with a Chinese agricultural firm to adopt drip irrigation for his cotton field. The method has reduced costs, supported water conservation, and is easy to operate.
In September 2021, the Chinese company, Yangling Modern Agriculture International Cooperation Co., Ltd., began constructing a Chinese-Uzbek modern agricultural science and technology demonstration park near Begmatov’s cotton field. The park spans over 233 hectares and introduces China’s advanced agricultural technologies and high-quality crop varieties. Trial plantations of oil sunflower, soybean, and corn have been completed, and more varieties will be grown in the future. China’s Xi’an Aiju Grain and Oil Industrial Group has also been promoting order-based agricultural planting mode in Kazakhstan since 2016, providing farmers with planting orders with guaranteed purchase prices and helping them increase their incomes and exports.
Closer ties between China and Central Asian countries have strengthened their cooperation in agriculture, resulting in an increasing number of agricultural products from Central Asia entering the Chinese market. Agricultural trade between China and the five Central Asian countries increased from $175 million in 1992 to $1.07 billion in 2021, with trade with Kazakhstan accounting for 53% of the total and Uzbekistan accounting for 28%. Tursunali Kuziev, a professor at Journalism and Mass Communications University of Uzbekistan, states that China has become an important partner in trade and economic cooperation with the five Central Asian countries, and Chinese agricultural technologies are boosting crop output and contributing to local food security.