Issues of increasing agricultural exports considered

    Uzbekistan 2 February 2024 3286

    President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on developing the fruit, vegetable, and food industries.

    In 2023, agriculture in Uzbekistan grew by 4.1 percent. Industry exports amounted to almost $2 billion. But the existing potential is much higher than that.

    At a meeting on export and industry issues held on January 18, the Head of state also identified tasks for the fruit and vegetable industry. In particular, the Agency for Quarantine and Plant Protection is responsible for searching for new potential markets and organizing the procurement of export-oriented products.

    The Agency works to protect plants from harmful organisms, grow phytosanitary clean products, and ensure food safety. In particular, stationary and mobile laboratories in the regions analyzed the soil of 1 million 40 thousand hectares of land and determined a scientifically based rate for applying mineral fertilizers. Seven new information systems have been introduced, and 40 procedures have been digitalized.

    About $20 million in grants from international organizations and financial institutions were attracted, and laboratories and equipment were updated. Chemical treatment of fields and gardens and examination of export and import products continue consistently.

    Such measures are essential to the quality and safety of fruits and vegetables. In recent years, 620 phytosanitary permits have been received for the export of agricultural products to 80 countries, and electronic data exchange has been established with them. As part of the GSP+ system, 200 thousand hectares of land complied with international requirements.

    The tasks to be implemented this year were discussed at the meeting.

    Responsible officials reported on the possibility of bringing agricultural exports to $3.5 billion this year, expanding the scope of work.

    To achieve this, the production of fruits and vegetables, melons, grapes, and grain legumes will be increased. Another 20 mobile laboratories will be created in the regions and integrated into the electronic platform uzagrolab.uz. All processes related to the circulation of pesticides will be digitalized, and the import and illegal trade of low-quality pesticides will be prohibited.

    Six thousand gardens, more than 3 thousand vineyards and fields, and 344 packaging enterprises will be brought into compliance with foreign phytosanitary requirements. Highly effective entomophagy will be introduced, and a new type of biological control of insect pests will be launched.

    As part of strengthening international cooperation, exports will be focused on higher-value markets. Phytosanitary permits from 8 more countries will be obtained. The participation of domestic exporters in international exhibitions specializing in fruits and vegetables will expand, and a portfolio of firm orders will be formed. A modern infrastructure for the export of fruits and vegetables will be created at the international airports of Fergana, Samarkand, and Tashkent.

    Based on foreign experience, the qualifications of plant protection workers will be improved. With the involvement of international experts, guidelines for the cultivation, storage, packaging, and transportation of each type of product will be developed.

    The Head of state gave additional instructions to ensure food security and production of export-oriented products.