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Sources of Agricultural Productivity Growth in Central Asia: The Case of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan


  • Lerman, Zvi
  • Sedik, David J.


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lerman, Zvi & Sedik, David J., 2009. "Sources of Agricultural Productivity Growth in Central Asia: The Case of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan," Discussion Papers 54713, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:huaedp:54713

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Upali Wickramasinghe, "undated". "Fostering productivity in the rural and agricultural sector for inclusive growth and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific Abstract:," MPDD Working Paper Series WP/16/07, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

    More about this item


    agricultural productivity; agricultural growth; family farms; corporate farms; comparative performance; agrarian reforms; transition countries; Central Asia; Tajikistan; Uzbekistan; Agricultural and Food Policy; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Food Security and Poverty; International Development; Land Economics/Use; Productivity Analysis; P27; P31; P32; Q15; R14;

    JEL classification:

    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions
    • P32 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Collectives; Communes; Agricultural Institutions
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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