Chapter 21: Economics of Land Degradation and Improvement in Uzbekistan
Aw-Hassan, Aden A.
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Land degradation is a major challenge for agricultural and rural development in Uzbekistan. Our research findings indicate that the costs of land degradation in Uzbekistan are substantial; reaching about 0.85 billion USD annually resulting from the loss of valuable land ecosystem services due to land use and land cover changes alone between 2001 and 2009. On the other hand, economic simulations also show that the returns from actions to address land degradation can be four times higher their costs over a 30-year planning horizon, i.e. every dollar invested into land rehabilitation can yield 4 dollars of returns over this period. The priority geographic locations for actions against land degradation are suggested to be Karakalpakstan, Buhoro and Syrdaryo provinces of Uzbekistan, where the returns from actions are the biggest. The econometric analysis of a nationally representative survey of agricultural producers shows that national policies could enhance the uptake of sustainable land management practices by increasing crop diversification, securing land tenure and creating non-farm jobs in rural areas.