On July 18, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference on the issues of increasing food production and the income of the population.
The risks of global food security are increasing. Export restrictions and disruption of transport and logistics chains exacerbate the problem. According to the analysis, global food prices are expected to rise by at least 20 percent this year.
In Uzbekistan, 40-50 percent of the population’s expenditures fall on food. Therefore, measures are being taken to mitigate the impact of rising prices on the life of the population by increasing production.
In particular, since the beginning of the year, 80,000 hectares of sown land have been allocated to the population, released after the reduction of cotton and grain areas. The infrastructure of “Tomorqa Khizmati” (Homestead Service) has been established to provide the population with seeds, seedlings and fertilizers. This year alone, 400 billion UZS of concessional loans were provided for growing crops on household plots.
As a result of these opportunities, production increases and prices normalize. Over the past month, the cost of tomatoes in the domestic market has decreased by 3 times, cucumbers by 10 percent, potatoes by 30 percent, carrots by 15 percent. In addition, 821,000 tons of fruits and vegetables were exported over 6 months, which is 102,000 tons more than last year.
It is also important to employ 785 thousand people on the allocated lands.
Shortcomings were openly discussed at the meeting, along with the positive experience of districts and mahallas.
In particular, it was noted that 16,000 hectares out of 80,000 hectares of land could not be distributed due to remoteness from settlements and limited access to water. Hokims were instructed to replace these sites with ones convenient for the population.
The Head of the state identified new opportunities based on the proposals of the population. It was noted that another 20,000 hectares would be allocated to the population by the end of the year, and 100,000 hectares of sown land next year. The total area of allotments will reach 200 thousand hectares.
“This is a very big opportunity. Conditions will be created for employing an additional 1.2 million people. Most importantly, if the hokim of the district, the assistant to the hokim approach this issue with a calculation, then the issue of food and the unemployed can be easily resolved”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
Instructions were given to deliver high-yielding seeds and seedlings to the districts, install small freezers, and increase the number of greenhouses to help the population in the production and sale of products.
Today, residents of 64 districts grow 3 crops a year on their household lands. With a good harvest, one family can earn up to 60-100 million UZS.
The Head of the state emphasized that such work should be stimulated in other districts as well.
It was decided to increase the size of the subsidy for the construction of large wells in areas with difficult water supply to 150 million UZS. For small wells, a subsidy of 100,000 UZS will be provided for each meter of well depth after 5 meters in Karakalpakstan, and more than 10 meters in other regions.
Hydrogeological reports on drilling wells will be provided free of charge until 2025. It was decided to extend subsidies for the introduction of water-saving technologies to farms.
Another problem that hinders households is that 2.6 million houses in Uzbekistan do not have cadastral documents. People’s reception offices receive numerous complaints that their owners cannot use loans, subsidies and mortgages to expand housing.
In addition, due to the lack of a cadastre, land tax is calculated at a rate increased by 3 times.
The Ministry of Justice has been tasked with developing a separate draft law to finally resolve the issue of houses without a cadastre. Until the adoption of the new law, the tax on these houses at the triple rate will be suspended.
Issues of agriculture were discussed at the meeting.
The hokimiyats were tasked to take measures to place repeated crops on 820,000 hectares by the end of July and to harvest 11 million tons of products, to prepare a food reserve by the end of the year.
As is known, a new system of financing the cultivation and purchase of grain was launched this year. Offering attractive prices to farmers has paid off. Due to the fact that 88,000 tons of wheat were listed on the stock exchange in July, the average price of 1 ton of wheat decreased by 30 percent.
1 million 842 thousand tons of grain were purchased for the state resource. Farmers and clusters deposited 574,000 tons of grain to grain enterprises.
Responsible persons were instructed to regularly put this grain on the stock exchange and, by October 1, make a full settlement with farmers and clusters.
The President focused on improving the efficiency and executive discipline of state bodies.
“Research in Samarkand region revealed many of our shortcomings. The most difficult reforms are yet to come. Everyone must change, change their methods of work”, the Head of the state said.
It was emphasized that the Cabinet of Ministers, ministries and agencies need to change their structure and methods of work. The Ministry of Justice has been instructed to optimize legislation and increase convenience for residents and businesses.
The Accounts Chamber has been tasked with digitalizing the process associated with spending funds, especially financing construction, allocating subsidies and compensations.
Deputy Prime Ministers, hokims, chairmen of mahallas provided information on the issues discussed at the meeting.