A new system for the development of the fruit and vegetable industry to be introduced in Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- Under the chairmanship of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a video conference on measures for the development of horticulture and dekhkan farms was held on 24 November.
In the process of agricultural development in Uzbekistan, priority is given to the cluster system. In cotton-textile, grain, fruit and vegetable and viticultural clusters, the qualitative and quantitative indicators of production are steadily growing.
Clusters are also organized in the fruit and vegetable branch of agriculture. However, the results of their work do not yet correspond to the potential. So, according to estimates, the industry is capable of exporting products worth US$5 billion, now this figure is US$1.2 billion. In particular, fruit and vegetable clusters in Asaka, Angora, Denau, Dzhambay, Samarkand, Altyaryk, Kuva, Yukorichirchik and Yangikurgan regions are currently successfully exporting products worth US$20-25 million.
The meeting analyzed the existing opportunities and problems in the field, discussed measures to increase productivity and employment of the population.
- Before in cotton growing we sold only raw materials. In the best-quoted years, revenues were in the order of US$1 billion. And today, processing cotton at home, we have reached US$3 billion. And this is just an indicator of exports. And how many more jobs, sources of income and taxes have been created. If the work is organized correctly, such a result can be achieved in horticulture. The opportunity is under our very feet, the head of state said.
It was noted that a new system for the development of fruit and vegetable clusters, dekhkan and subsidiary farms, their financing, as well as the expansion of the provision of agricultural services will be introduced.
So, from 1 December, preferential loans will be provided to producers of fruit and vegetable products through the State Support Fund for Agriculture. For this, a trilateral agreement will be concluded between the cluster, the farmer and the bank. Loans will be issued for a period of one year at a rate of 14 percent with a grace period of 6 months.
The clusters will also have access to 12-month "revolving" loans to purchase products from the population. That is, the clusters will use funds as needed and pay interest payments only for the period of using the loan. 2 trillion soums will be allocated for these purposes.
For the creation of small intensive orchards, vineyards and the development of horticulture, loans without collateral will be provided in the amount of up to 100 million soums at a preferential rate of 14 percent per annum. For these purposes, US$100 million of funds from international financial institutions will be directed.
In addition, 50 percent of the expenses of the clusters on insurance of the harvest of fruits and vegetables against risks will be reimbursed from the budget.
The relevant ministries have been instructed to organize this system.
Yesterday, on 23 November, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed a decree on measures to develop family entrepreneurship in the field of horticulture and viticulture, to increase the share of dekhkan farms in agricultural production. The decree provides for the provision of 80 thousand hectares of land to the population for organizing dekhkan farms, freed by reducing cotton and grain areas.
Plots ranging from 10 acres to 1 hectare will be leased for a period of 10 years following an open electronic tender.
The head of our state stressed that the main criterion in this case should be the number of jobs created and the agricultural experience of applicants, and in their selection, special attention should be paid to representatives of the poor.
Within the framework of family entrepreneurship programs, newly formed farms will be provided loans for a period of 2 years with a 6-month grace period. However, if the land is not used efficiently, the lease can be terminated in court.
Responsible persons were instructed to place land for an open tender and cadastral registration of the provided plots in accordance with the above requirements.
The population of the country has at its disposal about 500 thousand hectares of household land. Next year, it is planned to allocate US$100 million for their effective use. The funds will be provided on a concessional basis under the family entrepreneurship program.
Enterprises for servicing subsidiary farms will also be provided loans worth up to 300 million soums without collateral. On the basis of enterprises with high efficiency indicators, it is planned to create clusters of auxiliary services, which will provide services for the construction of nurseries, have their own fleet of equipment, a refrigerated warehouse, equipment for drying, sorting and packaging products.
To purchase products harvested by subsidiary farms, cooperatives will be created in each district, they will be provided with subsidies.
The issue of irrigation of agricultural crops is also topical. It has been determined that the procedure for partial compensation from the budget for irrigation of household land and areas retired from circulation in areas where access to water is difficult will be extended until January 1, 2026.
Keeping chickens, rabbits and livestock on a subsidiary farm is an important source of abundance and income for families. In this regard, the meeting paid special attention to the development of poultry breeding, the organization of veterinary services and incubators in each region, and the delivery of feed.
The task was set to organize project offices in the regions for the development of horticulture and viticulture.
Deputy Prime Ministers, heads of industries and regions presented information on the issues discussed at the meeting.