Textile Industry

Cluster System – a New Stage in the Development of Cotton Production


     Cotton cultivation and development of various activities related to this direction, especially crafts, have dominated the life of our ancestors in our country since time immemorial. In particular, textiles occupy an important place in the craftsmanship of the Uzbek people. National colorful fabrics woven by masters from cotton fiber are valued in the world market. Therefore, Uzbek toilers have a special, reverent and careful attitude to cotton – it is the main asset of the republic, the basis of all foundations. However, we remember well that under the former Soviet Union, the development of textile industry in our country was limited to the cultivation of raw cotton and its sale to other Soviet republics at unreasonably low prices. But growing and harvesting cotton is a very hard labor, the whole life of Uzbek villagers was spent in the cotton fields literally in winter and summer, from dawn to dusk.
     After independence, the cotton monopoly was abolished. Along with the cultivation of this industrial raw material, attention to its processing increased. It would not be an exaggeration to note that the period of fundamental renewal in the cotton-textile industry began, however, only in 2017 with the emergence of the Association «Uztukimachiliksanoat» in the Republic, which in 2018 developed and implemented a «cluster» model based on the principle of vertical-horizontal integration of interrelated industries for the production and processing of raw cotton, which allowed the textile industry to rise to a qualitatively new level of development with high economic performance. Due to cardinal reforms and innovations in the industry, the share of the textile industry in the gross domestic product of the Republic has been increasing from year to year. If at the end of 2018 this indicator did not exceed 4%, now the share of the textile, clothing and knitwear industry accounts for 4.6% of the Republic’s GDP.
     More than one hundred clusters operating in the cotton and textile sector of Uzbekistan have become the leading force in agriculture in a very short time. Currently, clusters are actively engaged in growing, harvesting, primary and deep processing of cotton, and its export. In fact, due to the cluster method, about 350 large mills have been started and as a result the yarn processing speed has been brought up to 45 per cent. This figure is expected to reach 100 per cent in the near future, because it is much more profitable to export finished products with added value than semi-finished products.
     Today Uzbekistan sends products of textile and garment-knitwear industry to almost all continents – more than 70 countries of the world, including the markets of CIS countries, European Union, as well as China, USA, Canada, South America, Africa, South-East Asia and others. The share of finished products in exports is 41.5 per cent. After the cancellation of the global boycott of Uzbek cotton, the countries of the «old continent» as well as international brands have established trade and investment relations in this direction and started placing their orders in Uzbekistan.
     It is clear that the measures taken in the direction of the development of the industry make it possible to attract significant investments in the modernization and technological re-equipment of the production base, deep processing of cotton by textile enterprises and clusters, and the purchase of the latest equipment for the production of finished textile products in accordance with international standards. The fact that the industry employs hundreds of thousands of people is a separate topic!
     It should be noted that cotton-textile clusters become the locomotive of the regional economy, especially in Jizzakh oblast. Clusters contribute to the reduction of unemployment on their territory due to the industrialization of agriculture, establishment of enterprises and homestead farms. Whereas previously cotton was grown by agricultural structures and processed by other enterprises and then sold by a third party at a low price, the cluster method allows all these functions to be combined in a single chain of activities, including the processing of raw materials locally into a finished product and export at the price of international markets. In this case, both the farmer, the processor and the seller receive equal profit.
     Today in Jizzakh region there are 7 cotton-textile clusters and 51 textile enterprises, which in four stages process cotton raw material grown in the region and produce finished competitive products for both domestic and foreign markets. The growth of economic indicators of their activity over the last two years shows the favorable impact of the innovation that ensures successful development of cotton growing and industry in the single course of the economy of Jizzakh. So, let us pay attention to the figures: in 2022, 81 thousand tones (30%) of cotton fiber were produced from 270 thousand tons of raw cotton grown in Jizzakh, in particular, 5 clusters produced 71 thousand tons of yarn, 9 textile enterprises produced 27.3 thousand tons of this type of products at the expense of fibre purchased in other regions. Of the total amount of yarn produced (98.3 thousand tons), 1.2% was thoroughly processed at garment and knitwear enterprises (1.2 thousand tons), and finished knitwear products worth 300 billion soums were sent to the consumer market. In 2023, we see a significant increase in these figures: as a result of processing 291 thousand tons of raw cotton grown in the region, 88 thousand tons of fiber (30.2%) were produced, 7 clusters and 9 textile enterprises produced 83 thousand tons and 28.7 thousand tons of yarn respectively, garment and knitwear enterprises thoroughly processed 2.5 thousand tons (2.2%) of 112 thousand tons of yarn, and supplied finished knitwear products worth 358 billion soums to buyers and customers.
Shavkat TOKHIROV, Correspondent of “EBU” magazine


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