Sources of Agricultural Productivity Growth in Central Asia: The Case of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
The paper examines agricultural production and productivity growth in two Central Asian countries – Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Both countries are characterized by a significant shift of resources from the traditional Soviet model of collective agriculture to more market-compliant individual and family farming. In both countries, the beginning of the policy-driven switch to family farming around 1997 coincided with the beginning of recovery in agriculture, namely resumption of agricultural growth after a phase of transition decline since 1991. In addition to growth in total agricultural production, we also observe significant increases in productivity of both land and labor since 1997. These observations suggest that productivity growth may be attributable to the changes in farming structure in Central Asia. To check this conjecture we assess the sources of growth by applying the standard Solow growth accounting methodology. Using time series of country statistics for farms of different organizational forms, we decompose the growth in output into growth in the resource base (extensive growth) and growth in productivity (intensive growth). Solow growth accounting clearly shows that, first, much of the growth at the country level is attributable to increases in productivity rather than increases in resources and, second, the increases in productivity in family farms (especially household plots) outstrip the increases in productivity in former collective and state farms. These findings confirm that the recovery of agricultural production in Central Asia has been driven largely by productivity increases, and it is the individual farms that are the main source of agricultural productivity increases.
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