Agriculture ministers of Uzbekistan and Latvia meet in Tashkent
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan hosted a meeting between Minister of Agriculture Jamshid Khodjaev and Minister of Agriculture of Latvia Kaspars Gerhards.
Agriculture is considered an important area of bilateral cooperation, given the enormous potential of the sector. The development of agricultural exports is planned: for 6 months of this year, fruits and vegetables and food products in the amount of US$1.5 million have already been delivered to the Latvian market (twice as much as in the same period last year - US$800,000).
“At present, the development of “organic” agriculture is coming to the fore in Uzbekistan, and in this context, I would like to draw attention to the active participation of the Latvian “Certification and Testing Center” in the development of regulatory documents of Uzbekistan in the field of technical regulation, the formation of certification systems, as well as in the training of Uzbek specialists, - noted Jamshid Khojaev. - A draft Memorandum has been prepared between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the "Certification and Testing Center" (Latvia), which is planned to be signed in the near future. The Memorandum provides for the intensification of cooperation in such areas as the assessment of agricultural machinery and enterprises of "organic" agriculture; laboratory testing of machinery, as well as the introduction of technologies in the certification of agricultural machinery. "
The Minister of Agriculture of Uzbekistan told the Latvian side about the beginning of the introduction in Uzbekistan of a new system of knowledge, science and innovation - Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) and expressed the assumption that research institutes, as well as representatives of the private sector of Latvia may be interested in active participation in this initiative. He also spoke about the phased creation of unique agro-centers in all regions of Uzbekistan, which will provide a wide range of specialized services to farmers on the principle of a “single window”: from veterinary and phytosanitary services to the sale of seeds, seedlings, young livestock, as well as services for the analysis of soil, water, obtaining geoinformation data and international certification. On the basis of these centers, a permanent demonstration of new technologies from foreign suppliers will be organized, and farmers will have the opportunity to conclude contracts on the spot.
“There is practically a similar center in Latvia - the Rural Support Service (LAD), which is a joint venture between our Ministry of Agriculture and the Latvian Federation of Farmers,” noted Latvian Agriculture Minister Kaspars Gerhards. - From our side, we invest and provide subsidies so that the center can conduct its activities. Its main goal is to support and help farmers so that they are not distracted by paperwork. We invited our Uzbek colleagues to visit and get acquainted with our Village Support Service, how we organize consultations, how subsidies are carried out, and so on. We will be happy to share our experience with our Uzbek colleagues in the field of communication and science. "
Currently, Uzbekistan is taking active measures to increase the investment attractiveness of the agricultural sector. In particular, work is underway to create a favorable agribusiness climate and value chain, providing for the widespread introduction of market principles. In this regard, Minister Khodjaev suggested that the Latvian side take part in a number of promising projects: establishment of joint production of confectionery products and processing of cocoa beans in Uzbekistan; launch of fruit processing (jams, purees, fillings) for confectionery; creation of a poultry farm and organization of chicken meat processing.
“During today's meeting with Minister Jamshid Khodjayev, we discussed in detail our further cooperation,” said Kaspars Gerhards. - The people in Latvia know very well the agricultural products of Uzbekistan, in our stores there are melons and your other products, but naturally the potential of your country is much wider. We would be happy to help Uzbek producers enter the European market.”