Cotton in the Soviet Union

Last year in this section of New Sciences of a number we talked about the serious situation of the Aral Sea. The lake is drying up because the waters of the two main rivers that pour their waters (Amu Daria and Sir Daria) are being used to water cotton fields.

The territories around Lake Aral (Uzbekistan) are the northernmost cotton fields in the world and is a great monoculture. The aim of these fields is to ensure the self-supply of cotton in the Soviet Union. However, the damage is greater than the benefits.

Cotton, as has been said, is monoculture and has managed to displace the cultivation of vegetables and fruit trees. Consequently, the population cannot grow with the food that grows in it. On the other hand, cotton needs a lot of water and large amounts of fertilizers to grow. Although to date most of the cotton has been collected by hand, the machining is increasingly widespread, so more and more leaf losers must be used. These chemicals are very dangerous and are believed to be the cause of the high infant mortality rate in Uzbekistan (46.2 per thousand). On the other hand, the social cost of cotton is also very high, since in harvest time, September-October, schoolchildren are used, who lose many hours of class.

At present there is a great debate between Uzbekistan and the Soviet Union on monoculture cotton. For many, the ideal would be to reduce the plots associated with cotton and increase those associated with food production. In addition, buying cotton from Egyptori or India is cheaper.

Meanwhile, the situation of Lake Aral is at the base of all this.

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