President chairs a meeting to improve the food supply

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On May 31, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference on measures to ensure the uninterrupted provision of food products for the population.

Restrictions are increasing all over the world and food prices are rising. The fact that on the world market wheat has risen in price by 50 percent, vegetable oil by 33 percent, sugar by 14 percent, oil by 47 percent, cannot but affect prices in Uzbekistan. For example, in May, Kashkadarya and Namangan regions recorded an increase in prices for potatoes, flour and sugar.

In this regard, issues of increasing the production of basic types of food, including poultry and livestock was discussed at the meeting.

Poultry meat and eggs are affordable, nutritious products with a short production cycle. However, in many regions, the volume of poultry meat production does not meet the needs of the population. More than 50 large enterprises in this field operate at half their capacity. There are difficulties in supplying them with food, including wheat.

Specific measures to address this problem were identified at the meeting. From June 1, poultry farms will be allocated 400 billion UZS of revolving loans for the purchase of wheat. Through the State Entrepreneurship Support Fund, they will be provided with a guarantee in the amount of 50 percent of the loan collateral and compensation for loan interest in the part exceeding the 17 percent rate. A proposal was also made to extend the repayment terms of loans issued to poultry farms for working capital.

Instructions were given on the analysis of the poultry market and the correct placement of industry projects, digitalization of all processes from production to the sale of products.

The effectiveness of poultry farming based on cooperation was indicated. For example, in Nurabad district, entrepreneurs have established the harvesting of poultry meat and eggs together with the population by distributing incubators. Today, the district has reached self-sufficiency with this product, moreover, it has begun to supply it to the city of Samarkand and neighboring districts.

The need for expanding this experience, consolidating poultry farms for certain mahallas, and organizing poultry farming courses for the population was also noted at the meeting. Preferential loans for 200 million UZS will be allocated to each mahalla with such farms within the framework of family entrepreneurship programs. At the expense of these funds, the population will be provided with chickens and feed.

Animal husbandry is essential for the prosperity of the population and price stability. Many types of food are produced in this industry.

The Presidential Resolution “On measures for further development of animal husbandry and strengthening the fodder base” was adopted on February 8, 2022. According to the document, the number of subsidies to livestock farms for each kilogram of meat increased from 2 thousand to 4 thousand, for each liter of milk — from 200 to 400 UZS. Imported agricultural machinery is exempt from all payments. Preferential credit lines for $170 million have been opened for manufacturers. It is determined that fodder crops will be grown on more than 200 thousand hectares of cotton and grain fields by crop rotation.

At the meeting, the work carried out in this direction was considered in the context of the regions. Using the created opportunities in Andijan, Bukhara, Fergana and Khorezm regions, cotton and textile clusters have created 35 livestock farms for 18 thousand heads of cattle. However, the commissioning of 70 such complexes in Surkhandarya, Samarkand, Syrdarya, Kashkadarya, Namangan, Jizzakh and Tashkent regions is delayed. At the same time, there is no consistency in the organization of cooperative production of meat and milk in households.

In addition, the work on the organization of crop rotation of cotton, grain and fodder crops on an area of 200 thousand hectares does not have a clear plan.

In this regard, the Deputy Prime Minister has been tasked with approving and organizing crop rotation in each district, providing farmers with seeds of high-yielding fodder crops. At the same time, the importance of expanding the scale of providing veterinary services to livestock and households was emphasized.

Support measures have been identified to ensure an uninterrupted food supply for the population. In particular, on May 1, the order expired, according to which 22 types of food products, such as meat, fish, dairy products, fruits, vegetable oil, were exempt from customs duties. It was decided to extend this measure until January 1, 2023. The application of increased rates of duties on food imports will also be suspended. Restrictions on the import of food within the framework of public procurement will be temporarily lifted.

The Antimonopoly Committee has been given instructions on ensuring competition in the market and preventing unjustified price increases.

Hokims of regions and districts, heads of industries reported at the meeting.

UzA

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