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oblast (province) eastern Uzbekistan, with an area of 2,750 square miles (7,100 square km) in the southwestern Fergana valley. The climate is continental with hot summers and moderately cold winters. The south is irrigated by streams descending from the Alay Mountains and by the Great (Bolshoy) Fergana and Southern (Yuzhny) Fergana canals. In the north the terrain is a combination of desert, semidesert, and marsh. Cotton cultivation and sericulture (raw silk production), with their attendant cottonseed-oil and textile industries, are important in the economy. There are cement and lime works at Quwasoy, oil fields at Chimyon, and sulfur and ozocerite mines at Shursuw. Industry is concentrated in Fergana city, the capital, in Kokand (Quqon), and in the silk centre of Marghilon. The population was about one-third urban in the late 20th century. More than 90 percent of the inhabitants are Uzbek. Pop. (1991 est.) 2,226,400