President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference on July 23. Implementation of tasks to accelerate economic reforms in agriculture and water management, further development of market relations in the sphere was discussed.
Many issues, from ensuring food security in the country to getting additional income from processing and exports, are related to development of agriculture. Therefore, the state pays serious attention to fundamental reform of agriculture, introduction of market mechanisms, full use of reserves and opportunities, organization of production based on a scientific approach. The most relevant and promising tasks in this area are defined in the Strategy for Development of Agriculture until 2030, approved by the Presidential Decree of October 23, 2019.
An agreement was 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 development of agricultural science and innovation, organization of management of the sphere on the basis of world standards.
These issues were the first item on the agenda of the videoconference. The importance of ensuring the integration of science and production, 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. An investment of $124 million from the World Bank and a $2 million grant from the European Union will be used for this purpose.
Deputy Prime Minister Uktam Barnoyev was instructed to conduct an in-depth analysis of activities of research institutes together with international experts and develop a separate roadmap for each of them to improve their activities. The importance of attracting specialists with modern knowledge capable of implementing scientific innovations in production to these institutions was noted.
– The Ministry of Agriculture, correctly using this opportunity, should completely abandon outdated methods of work and move to better service for farmers, expand new types of services.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 must be transformed, – noted the President.
The effectiveness of projects using digital technologies was noted, and the progress of work in this direction was discussed.
It is planned to allocate $212 million to support the activities of cooperatives and clusters in fruit and vegetable industry.
The Head of the state emphasized that they should become the main driver in providing domestic market with inexpensive products and implementing from field to consumer system.
In this regard, the need was noted for developing projects aimed at increasing profits by expanding opportunities for processing, storage and export of products.
Issues of specialization of districts for procurement of agricultural products were also considered. An example is Jizzakh region, where it is planned to develop about 120 thousand hectares of land in the next three years, set up orchards and vineyards, and start growing oilseeds.
It was noted that this experience should be gradually introduced in all regions, and that no more than 3-4 export-oriented and high-yield types of products should be grown in each district.
It was instructed to create intensive gardens and plantations with an area of 3 thousand hectares by the end of 2021, distribute plots of 1-1.5 hectares to the population on the basis of new order and provide employment for 2-2.5 thousand families.
Rational water use issues were also discussed at the meeting.
Priority areas of work in this area were defined in the Concept of Water Management Development for 2020-2030, approved by the Presidential Decree of July 10 this year. In particular, the goal was set to save 7 billion cubic meters of water per year by increasing the efficiency of channels and implementing water-saving technologies on 2 million hectares, including drip irrigation on 600 thousand hectares. The concept also provides for reducing electricity consumption by 2 billion kilowatt-hours through introduction of digital technologies.
It was noted that the Ministry of Water Resources should ensure timely implementation of these tasks, attract international experts and work in a new way. Instructions were given for development of software products for full digitalization of the industry by 2025, including monitoring and accounting water consumption online.
The President touched upon the results of 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, the Head of the state expressed deep gratitude on behalf of our people to all farmers and dehkans, clusters.
Issues of timely implementation of agro technical measures for cultivation of cotton and re-planting of crops were discussed at the meeting.
– In general, relevant resolutions on the fundamental reform of agriculture and widespread introduction of a market economy in the sphere have already been adopted and priority tasks have been set. Their implementation is the most important issue that affects the country’s food security, and most importantly, the mood and quality of life of our people, – said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Responsible persons of the sphere and khokims provided information on organization of execution of orders, measures to eliminate the noted shortcomings.
Following the meeting the Head of the state again raised the issue of the pandemic:
– I would like to address our people once again and ask them. Over the past period, we have accumulated a lot of experience. We have recently softened our quarantine requirements in order to restore the economy, but the growing number of cases and deaths is very worrying.
Let’s take care of ourselves, our children and our dear parents. If we first of all take care of our own health, pay attention to the health of our family and relatives and observe quarantine rules, we will definitely contain this disease.