Starting from January 1, the irrigation water rate has increased by 150 percent in Tajikistan. Previously, it was 0.002 somoni per 1 cubic meter (m³), and now it stands at 0.005 somoni per 1 m³. This significant price hike is likely to impact the cost of agricultural products, especially for crops like rice and cotton, which require substantial water supply. These crops are often referred to as “thirsty” crops due to their high water consumption.
However, there’s a delicate balance to consider. If the rates are not raised, the water sector, which is already struggling, could face dire consequences. It’s essential to find a sustainable solution that ensures both agricultural productivity and the survival of the water sector.