The agriculture sector is the mainstay of Kyrgyz Republic’s economy, contributing to up to one-third of gross domestic product (GDP). Crop cultivation comprises more than half of this figure and cattle breeding accounts for the remainder. Sixty-five percent of the population is engaged in agriculture-related activities. The agriculture sector is extremely vulnerable to climate change and variability. Extreme weather events threaten agricultural productivity. Drought has the potential to compound scarcity of irrigation water and accelerate soil degradation, leading to decreased production. Partly due to its mountainous topography and harsh weather conditions, only 7% of Kyrgyz Republic’s land is arable. While most of this land has been privatized, productivity remains low due to a lack of investment and widespread environmental degradation. Changing rainfall patterns and rising temperatures occurring in the southern, warmer and drier areas of Kyrgyzstan could present problems for livestock, as heat waves, insufficient drinking water, and reduced forage become more commonplace. This will adversely affect livestock reproductive cycles. Moreover, higher temperatures may herald the arrival of new infectious diseases, such as rabies.
This section provides insights into the climate change impacts on agricultural productivity indicators and the trends in agriculture related socio-economic indicators.