Agriculture dominates the economy in the Zerafshan Valley. The Ayni district is intersected by a road running north to south which has helped the development of trade in the area. Penjikent district opens to the west and has strong economic links with neighboring regions. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union however the cross border trade with Uzbekistan has been drastically reduced.
Despite the limited amount of cultivatable land in the valley, agricultural production is remarkably high with good quality, seasonal food produced. Some products from the area have a national and in some cases international reputation. Small fields form patchworks where the valley is wide enough and fruit trees cling improbably to the hillsides. From the Penjikent district come the Kishmish raisins, Devzira rice and apples. Ayni is well known for both apricots and nuts while Gorna Matcha supplies the country with a large proportion of its potatoes. Dairy products made from both cow and sheep milk are also important to the valley. Honey is also a local specialty and is much sought after, particularly that gathered from the hives located in the mountains.