13 december 2017

Central Asia news

Uzbekistan government fixes tariffs for remuneration of cotton pickers

26.09.2017 09:12 msk

Ferghana


The Government of Uzbekistan introduced charge rates for wages for harvesting cotton raw cotton in the season of 2017. At the first stage, a picker will receive 450 soms ($ 0.055 at the official rate) for one kg of raw cotton, at the second stage (from 1 October of the current year) - 500 soms ($ 0.061). A rate for machinery harvest of raw cotton in this year's season is 260,000 soms per ton ($ 32), Norma.Uz news agency quotes the official document.

The government recommends farmers to pay cotton pickers for actually delivered volumes every five days, and if necessary - every day. Organised teams of collectors each consisting of a minimum of 100 people will harvest cotton on the ground. "Uzpahtasanoat" company will hire their managers for the cotton picking campaign. "Agrobank" will finance a timely payment of the work of the heads of the cotton pickers in the amount of 45 bln soms.

The government also instructed the "Uzpahtasanoatexport" holding company to ensure timeliness of settlements with cotton-growing farms for raw cotton according to the price list, paying 90 percent this year, and the remaining 10 percent - until 1 April 2018.

The official document also approves the purchase prices for cotton raw of season 2017. So, a purchase price for a manual collection of the long-staple cotton varieties ranges from 515.3 thousand soms to just over three million soms per ton (from $ 64 to $ 371) this year. The minimum price for medium-fibre varieties is 444.6 thousand soms, the maximum - over 1.8 million soms (from $ 55 to $ 223). Machine-based collection of raw cotton would bring from 444.6 thousand to 2.7 million soms per ton (from $ 55 to $ 334).

In 2016, the price for one kilogram of raw cotton was 285 soms ($ 0.09 at the official rate or $ 0.04 at the rate of the "black market".)

Meanwhile, at the end of last week, Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov previously attracted to the cotton harvest campaign students, teachers and medical workers, ordered to return them from the fields. However, instead of recalling students, teachers and doctors, mahalla activists began to visit door-to-door making new lists of cotton pickers.

In some regions of the republic, the parents of pupils of schools and colleges are forced to collect cotton, Ozodlik (the Uzbek service of Radio Liberty) reports.

"Mahalla activists tell residents that they should go to pick cotton with an overnight stay for ten days. And if one of the residents says that he can not go to cotton since he has urgent business, the mahalla activists demand him to hand over 100,000 soms to them - or 10,000 soms for each day of non-participation in the collection of cotton," said one of the interlocutors of the radio station.

A resident of the Djizak region of Uzbekistan, 39-year-old Gulzad Tajibaeva, died on 16 September after being hit by a shuttle bus on her way home after picking cotton. She was the head of the "Youth Union" branch at the school, the Sof.uz news resource informs.

The local press reported a 58-year-old Muzaffar Umrzakov from Andijan suddenly died of a heart attack right on the field of one of the farms of the Izbaskan district. The misfortune also occurred on 16 September during the delivery of raw cotton. The ambulance took the body of the deceased to the family. Apparently, the man had a heart disease, but despite this, the circumstances and strict demands of local authorities forced him to go on the field instead of his spouse working as a cleaner in the Andijan secondary school.

Fergana News Agency