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Uzbekistan to diversify agricultural production

29 January 2015

The Uzbek government’s program for development of the agricultural sector in 2015-2019 provides for gradual decrease in the area under cotton, one of the main export items of Uzbekistan, with those land to be subsequently used to grow vegetables and potato, and plant fruit orchards, Uzbek media reported.      

The government plans measures for further selection of new high-yield salt- and drought-resistant sorts of cotton and grain crops.

In cooperation with Claas, Lemken and other leading international companies, Uzbekistan will organize production of modern tractors, cotton and grain harvesters, and other agricultural machinery.

During the next five years, the Uzbek government plans to improve the fertility of 1.4 million hectares of irrigated farmland and increase crop yields by construction of new and reconstruction of existing irrigation facilities and the use of the latest energy-saving equipment.       

An important task is to continue introducing the latest water-saving technologies, including drip irrigation systems for fruit orchards and vineyards. It will help to save up to one billion cubic meters of irrigation water per year.  

Another important task is to increase processing of agricultural produce through 391 planned investment projects. It is planned to build more than two thousand refrigerating facilities capable of storing at least 1.3 million tons of fruit and vegetables, with this capacity to be increased up to two million tons. Agricultural logistics will also be developed.     

Implementation of the above plan will help Uzbekistan strengthen its food security, make the country self-sufficient in basic food products, and significantly increase agricultural exports.