Analyzed the progress of reforms in agriculture and water management
Under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a video conference was held on July 23. The implementation of tasks to accelerate economic reforms in agriculture and water management, further development of market relations in the field was discussed.
Many issues, from ensuring food security in the country to generating additional income from processing and export, are related to the development of agriculture. Therefore, the state pays serious attention to the radical reform of agriculture, the introduction of market mechanisms, the full use of reserves and opportunities, the organization of production based on a scientific approach. The most urgent and promising tasks in this area are defined in the Strategy for the Development of Agriculture until 2030, approved by the Presidential Decree of October 23, 2019.
An agreement has been reached with the World Bank to implement a $ 500 million project to modernize agriculture. For the first time in the history of Uzbekistan, funds are directed to the development of agricultural science and innovations, the organization of management of the sphere on the basis of world standards.
These issues became the first item on the agenda of the video conference. The importance of ensuring the integration of science and production, the introduction of the System of Knowledge and Innovation in Agriculture used in developed countries was noted.
Within the framework of this project, the activities of 8 agricultural research institutes, as well as a number of organizations of the Ministry of Agriculture, will be radically updated, they will be equipped with modern laboratories and equipment. For these purposes, investments in the amount of $ 124 million from the World Bank and a grant from the European Union for $ 2 million will be allocated.
Deputy Prime Minister Uktam Barnoev was instructed to conduct, together with international experts, an in-depth analysis of the activities of research institutes and develop for each of them a separate “roadmap” to improve their activities. The importance of attracting specialists with modern knowledge, capable of introducing scientific innovations into production, was emphasized.
– The Ministry of Agriculture, using this opportunity correctly, must completely abandon outdated methods of work and move to better service for farmers, expand new types of services. In short, the activities of the ministry and its subordinate organizations need to be transformed, the President emphasized.
The effectiveness of projects using digital technologies was noted, the progress of work in this direction was discussed.
It is planned to allocate $ 212 million to support the activities of cooperatives and clusters of the fruit and vegetable industry.
The head of state stressed that they should become the main driver in providing the domestic market with inexpensive products, introducing a system “from the field to the consumer.”
In this regard, the need to develop projects aimed at increasing profits by expanding the possibilities of processing, storing and exporting products is indicated.
The issues of specialization of regions for the procurement of agricultural products were also considered. An example is the Jizzakh region, where it is planned to develop about 120 thousand hectares of land in the next three years, to lay out gardens and vineyards, and to start growing oilseeds.
It was noted that it is necessary to gradually introduce this experience in all regions, to establish in each region the cultivation of no more than 3-4 export-oriented and highly profitable types of products.
By the end of 2021, it was instructed to create intensive gardens and plantations with an area of 3 thousand hectares, to distribute plots of 1-1.5 hectares to the population on the basis of the new order, and thereby provide employment for 2-2.5 thousand families.
The meeting also addressed issues of rational use of water.
Priority areas of work in this area are defined in the Concept for the Development of Water Resources for 2020-2030, approved by the President’s decree of July 10 of this year. In particular, the goal is to achieve savings of 7 billion cubic meters of water per year by increasing the efficiency of canals and introducing water-saving technologies on 2 million hectares, including drip irrigation on 600 thousand hectares. The concept also envisions a 2 billion kilowatt-hour reduction in electricity consumption through the introduction of digital technologies.
It was emphasized that the Ministry of Water Resources should ensure the timely implementation of these tasks, attract international experts and work in a new way. Instructions were given on the development of software products for the complete digitalization of the industry by 2025, including online control and accounting of water consumption.
The President touched upon the results of the grain campaign and noted that even in such difficult conditions, our farmers raised the grain harvest by more than 6.4 million tons. In this regard, on behalf of our people, the head of state expressed deep gratitude to all farmers and dehkans, clusters.
The meeting also discussed issues of timely implementation of agrotechnical measures for growing cotton and planting re-crops.
– In general, the relevant decisions on radical reform of agriculture and the widespread introduction of a market economy in the field have already been adopted, priority tasks have been set. Their implementation is the most important issue affecting the food security of the country, and most importantly, the mood and quality of life of our people, – Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
At the end of the meeting, the head of state again raised the issue of the pandemic:
– I want to once again appeal to our people and ask. Over the past period, we have accumulated a lot of experience. Recently, we have eased quarantine requirements to restore the economy, but the increase in the number of cases and deaths worries us very much.
Let’s take care of ourselves, our children, dear parents. If we ourselves first of all take care of our health, we will be attentive to the health of our family, relatives, observe the quarantine norms, we will definitely contain this disease.