Agriculture and animal husbsandry, much of which consists of subsistence farming and pastoral nomadic, are by far the most important items of the gross national product, accounting for more than half of its total value. Since much of the land is arid or semiarid, about half of the cultivated land is irrigated.

Most of the cultivated land is planted with cereals. Of these, wheat is the chief crop and the staple food of the population. The other food grains are corn (maize), rice, and barley. Cotton is important, both for the domestic textile industry and for export. Fruits and nuts are also important items of export. Opium poppy and cannabis are grown for the illegal international drug trade.

Animal husbandry produces meat and dairy products for local consumption; skins, especially the famous karakul, and wool (both for export and for domestic carpet weaving) are also important products. Livestock includes sheep, cattle, goats, donkeys, horses, camels, buffalo, and mules. About two-thirds of the annual milk production is from cows, the rest from sheep and goats.

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