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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