May 9, 2022


Potential agri-projects between DLG and Uzbekistan discussed during ambassador's visit


The Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Nabijon Kasimov, visited DLG's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, late last month to discuss potential joint agricultural projects between Uzbekistan and the DLG (German Agricultural Society), including cooperation in the areas of training, transfer of expert knowledge, standardisation and certification, establishment of seed breeding, the development of agricultural machinery production and an educational center for Uzbek farmers.


At the meeting, Kasimov emphasised the importance of the continued professionalising of animal husbandry and the development of aquaculture in Uzbekistan over the coming years. With its non-profit aim to promote and share know-how in these practical areas, DLG could be an important contributor of knowledge.


In his presentation, the Uzbek ambassador underlined that the country not only is one of the most populous countries in Central Asia but also has a high percentage of young people.


More than 60% of Uzbekistan's 34.6 million population are now under the age of 30. There are advantages to such a population structure, which comes with obligations on the part of the Uzbek government to create new jobs and train young people. Agriculture and agribusiness are expected to play important roles in this regard.


With a share of 27% of the gross domestic product (GDP), Uzbek agriculture plays an important role in the overall economy. Over a quarter of the workforce is engaged in agriculture, with the majority active on small farms run as a side business consisting of small livestock herds, producing milk, meat, eggs and wool, primarily for private consumption.


Over the past five years, the Uzbek government has initiated reforms designed to transform agriculture from state to private structures. The aim is to professionalise animal husbandry through the use of modern genetics and production methods. A part of that strategy has been the introduction of value chains that are mapped in logical cluster systems.


In the livestock sector, for example, a meat and dairy cluster was launched in the Jizzax province in 2019, applying modern genetics, production methods and a consistent feed system. However, given local natural conditions and the scarcity of water, this poses enormous challenges.


Against the background of water scarcity in Uzbek farming, Kasimov expressed an interest in visiting DLG's International Crop production center in Bernburg, a 600-hectare site conducting long-term irrigation trials among others.


Uncontrolled water consumption, especially with cotton cultivation during the Soviet period, led to an ecological disaster in the Aral Sea basin. The ambassador reported that up until a few decades ago, the former port city of Muinak was located on a peninsula at the southern end of the Aral Sea.


Today, the shore is about 80km away from the city and many fish processing plants have been shut down. The Uzbek government is now looking at ways to develop aquaculture in the country to provide raw material for fish processing.


Meanwhile, Uzbek delegates agreed that trade fairs like EuroTier, which focuses on methods for livestock and aquaculture production, provide an excellent platform for information and the exchange of experiences.


DLG currently actively supports agricultural exhibitions in Uzbekistan.


The company's subsidiary, IFW Expo Heidelberg GmbH, is part of the UzFood and Uzbekistan Agrotech Expo exhibitions, organising both the participation of German companies and technical events together with professional partners.


At the UzFood trade fair held in Uzbekistan's capital, Tashkent, DLG's Competence Center Food supported the conference held on March 29.


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