Fergana Oblast

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fergana Oblast


part of the Uzbek SSR. Formed on Jan. 15, 1938. Situated in the eastern part of the republic, in the southern part of Fergana Valley. Area, 7,100 sq km. Population, 1,593,000 (Jan. 1, 1976). The oblast is divided into 12 raions and has seven cities and eight urban-type settlements. Its administrative center is the city of Fergana. Fergana Oblast was awarded the Order of Lenin on Dec. 12, 1964.

Natural features. The northern part of Fergana Oblast is occupied by the Kushtepe Massif and the Iaz”iavan Steppe (both part of Central Fergana), which are bordered on the south by alluvial fans formed by rivers that flow from the Alai Mountains. In the south, a belt of adyry (low foothills) alternates with the foothills of the Alai Range. The climate is continental, with mild winters and hot summers. The average temperature in Fergana is –3.2°C in January and 28°C in July. Annual precipitation ranges from 100 mm in the west, near Kokand, to 170 mm in the east; it reaches 270 mm in the foothills. Most of the precipitation falls in the spring. The growing season lasts 210 to 220 days.

The Syr Darya flows along the northwestern border of the oblast. The Isfara, Sokh, Shakhimardan, and Isfairamsai rivers flow from the Alai Range but do not reach the Syr Darya. Most of the rivers are fed by both glaciers and snow; the Sokh is fed primarily by glaciers. High water occurs in July and August. The rivers are used extensively for irrigation.

Sierozems and meadow-boggy soils predominate throughout the oblast. The adyry contain light and standard sierozems, and the terraces of the Syr Darya are covered by alluvial and meadow soils. In the north, there are solonchak meadows (sazy) in the Syr Darya region as well as meadows of Cynodon dactylon. Various saltworts grow on the solonchaks of Central Fergana. Most of the land is under cultivation. Bolleana poplars, mulberries, and smooth-leaved elms grow in the oases, and larch and juniper forests are found in the river valleys. Indigenous mammals include boars, which are found in the tugai (deciduous forests) along the Syr Darya. Wolves, foxes, golden jackals, hares, badgers, and porcupines inhabit the adyr and alai foothill zone, and the musk-rat and coypu have become acclimatized. There are numerous birds, reptiles, and arachnids. The rivers and lakes contain Old World minnows (Schizothorax), barbels (Barbus), sheatfish (Silurus glanis), domesticated carp (Cyprinidae), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), bighead (Aristichthys nobilis), grasscarp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), and other fish.

Population. The inhabitants of Fergana Oblast include Uzbeks, Russians, Tadzhiks, Tatars, and Kirghiz. Uzbeks account for 75 percent of the total population (1970 census), Russians for 9.4 percent, Tadzhiks for 5 percent, Tatars for 4.1 percent, and Kirghiz for 2.3 percent. The average population density is 224.4 persons per sq km (Jan. 1, 1976), which is exceeded in the republic only by Andizhan Oblast. The population density is highest in the Fergana-Margilan industrial area and the Kokand Oasis, where it ranges from 300 to 350 persons per sq km. The population is sparsest in the northern areas of the oblast and in the foothills of the southwest. The urban population makes up 35 percent of the total. Cities include Fergana, Kokand, Margilan, Kuvasai, Kuva, Khamza, and laipan.

Economy. Fergana Oblast, one of the republic’s most industrially and agriculturally developed oblasts, is an important cotton-growing and sericultural region. Between 1925 and 1975 industrial output increased by a factor of 78. Light industry and food-processing account for nearly two-thirds of the gross output, and heavy industry for more than one-third. The textile, silk, vegetable-oil, chemical, petroleum, and building-materials industries are the most highly developed.

Energy is derived from natural gas and petroleum, as well as from coal, which is brought in from the Kirghiz SSR. In 1975,1.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity were produced—5.2 percent of the total for Uzbekistan—primarily at fossil-fuel-fired steam power plants, such as the Kuvasai State Regional Electric Power Plant and the Fergana and Kokand District heat and power plants. Petroleum is extracted at the Western Palvantash and Northern Sokh deposits, which yielded 144,000 tons in 1975. The Northern Sokh and Khankyz deposits supplied 538 million cu m of natural gas. Natural gas pipelines connect Khodzhaabad, Fergana, and Kuvasai, Northern Sokh and Fergana, and Northern Sokh and Kokand; the oblast obtains gas from Bukhara as well.

Raw materials for the production of building materials come from the Kuvasai area. Petroleum from Uzbekistan and, to a lesser extent, from Turkmenia and Kirghizia is refined at the Fergana Refinery and the Altyaryk Fuel Plant.

The chemical industry is represented by the manufacture of mineral fertilizers in Kokand and Fergana, sulfuric acid in Kokand, and defoliants, furan compounds, and synthetic fibers and thread in Fergana. Metalworking enterprises in Kokand, Fergana, and other cities manufacture equipment for the petroleum refining and natural gas industries and light industry, as well as spare parts for agricultural and textile machinery, arc-welding equipment, and gas ranges. The building-materials industry includes a cement combine in Kuvasai, which accounts for approximately 26 percent of the republic’s total output of cement, a factory in Kuvasai that produces glass containers and shaped glass, a factory that produces reinforced-concrete products, a brickyard, and a prefabricated-housing combine (Fergana, Kokand).

The principal branch of light industry is cotton ginning, which is carried on in Fergana, Kokand, Kuva, Tashlak, laipan, and other cities. Textile enterprises are located in Fergana, which has a textile combine and a silk-winding factory, in Margilan, which has a silk combine and the Atlas production association, which manufactures the distinctive, rainbow-pattern Avrovyi fabrics, and in Kokand, which has a hosiery combine. There are footwear factories in Fergana and Kokand.

The vegetable-oil and fat, canning, wine-making, and confectionery branches of the food-processing industry are highly developed in Fergana, Kokand, and other cities. In 1975, Fergana Oblast accounted for 64 percent of the raw silk produced in the republic, 45 percent of the silk cloth, 99.5 percent of the hosiery, 28 percent of the leather footwear, 22 percent of the vegetable oil, 12 percent of the canned goods, and 12 percent of the confectionery products.

Agricultural lands in November 1975 amounted to 514,000 hectares (ha), including 284,300 ha of arable land and 209,200 ha of hayfields and pasture lands. At the end of 1975, there were 86 kolkhozes and 34 sovkhozes. The total sown area is 287,300 ha (1975), all of which is under irrigation. The major irrigation canals are the Great Fergana, South Fergana, Great Andizhan, and Sokh-Shakhimardan canals. Water is supplied by the Karkidan Reservoir, which has a volume of 216.5 million cu m, and the Kurgantepe Reservoir.

Industrial crops, primarily cotton, occupy 67 percent (191,300 ha) of the sown land. Fergana Oblast is the republic’s second largest producer of cotton, after Andizhan Oblast. In 1975 the gross cotton harvest was 559,000 tons, or 11.1 percent of the republic’s total harvest. The raw cotton yield was 29.2 quintals per ha. Cotton plantings are particularly extensive around the Kokand and Margilan oases. The Kushtepe Range and Iaz”iavan Steppe are being intensively developed for cotton growing.

Grain crops occupy 14,000 ha, potatoes and gourds 16,600 ha, and fodder crops, 65,400 ha. The most widely cultivated grain crops are corn for human consumption, winter and spring wheat, and rice. Potatoes and gourds are grown near cities. Orchards, vineyards, and other permanent plantings occupy 20,100 ha in irrigated regions and the foothills (1974). Subtropical fruits, such as pomegranates and figs, as well as apples and apricots, are grown in the orchards, and table grapes of high sugar content are grown in the vineyards. In all cotton-growing areas the most important secondary industrial sector is sericulture; the oblast accounts for approximately 22 percent of the republic’s output of silk cocoons.

Livestock are raised for meat and dairy products. As of Jan. 1, 1976, there were 354,400 head of cattle, 387,100 sheep, and 7,800 swine. Cattle are raised virtually everywhere in the areas under irrigation; sheep are raised in the foothills on natural pastures.

In 1975 the oblast had 228 km of railroads. The circular Fergana Valley Railroad (Kokand-Margilan-Andizhan-Namangan-Kokand) passes through the oblast and has a branch line connecting Margilan and Kyzyl-Kiia. In 1975 there were 2,648 km of automobile roads, including 2,629 km of paved roads. The main highways are the Fergana Circular Highway and the highways joining Fergana, Kokand, Leninabad, and Tashkent and Kokand, Angren, and Tashkent; the last runs through Kamchik Pass. Fergana is linked by air with Moscow, Tashkent, and other cities in the USSR.


Education, cultural affairs, and public health. In the 1914–15 school year, Fergana Oblast had 25 general-education schools, with an enrollment of 2,600, and no specialized secondary or higher educational institutions. In the 1975–76 school year, 438,700 pupils were enrolled in 1,065 general-education schools of all types, 26,300 in 20 specialized secondary schools, and 14,800 in 30 vocational-technical schools. More than 18,000 persons attended higher educational institutions, including the Ulug Beg Polytechnical Institute, the Ulug Beg Pedagogical Institute, and a branch of the Tashkent Agricultural Institute, all located in Fergana, as well as the Mukimi Pedagogical Institute in Kokand. In 1975,76,500 children were enrolled in preschool institutions.

In 1975 the oblast’s research institutions included the Uzbek Scientific Research Institute of the Silk Industry, located in Margilan, and the Middle Asian Scientific Research Institute of Sericulture, located in Fergana. The oblast had 766 people’s libraries, with more than 4 million books and periodicals, six museums, including the Fergana Oblast Museum of Local Lore, the Kokand City Museum of Local Lore, the G. Guliam Museum of Literature, located in Kokand, and the Iu. Akhunbabaev Memorial Museum, located in Margilan. The oblast’s three theaters are the Gorky Fergana Russian Dramatic Theater, the Oblast Uzbek Theater of Musical Drama and Comedy, located in Fergana, and the Khamza Kokand Theater. The oblast has 454 clubs, 567 stationary motion-picture projection units, and 30 extracurricular institutions and facilities, such as houses of Pioneers, stations for young technicians, and sports facilities for children.

The oblast newspapers are Kommuna, published since 1930 in Uzbek (the newspaper’s editorial staff considers 1917 to be the date of founding) and Ferganskaia pravda, published since 1917. Television broadcasting provides an average of 26 hr of programming daily, including 13 hr of retransmitted Vostok material and 11 hours of republic television. In addition, there are hourly broadcasts from Dushanbe and Frunze in the Tadzhik and Kirghiz languages. Republic Radio provides 38 hr of programming daily in Uzbek and Russian, and the oblast radio is on the air 1 hr daily.

In 1976 there were 107 hospitals, with 15,900 beds (10.0 beds per 1,000 inhabitants), and 2,500 physicians (one physician per 628 inhabitants). Fergana Oblast has the Shakhimardan climatic health resort, the Chimion balneological health resort, the Ky-zyl-Tepe health resort, seven sanatoriums, and a house of rest.


Ferganskaia oblast’. Tashkent, 1974.
Narodnoe khoziaistvo Uzbekskoi SSR: Statistich. sbornik. Tashkent, 1976.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.