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Enlarging the export potential of farm produce grown in Uzbekistan

Botschaft Usbekistan, December 29, 2015

Thanks to its enormous agricultural potential, the Republic of Uzbekistan tends to improve the sector’s output indicators with each passing year. The farm produce cultivated and processed in the country is in stable popular demand abroad. Domestic agricultural products are sold at high prices, because they are stuffed with vitamins and minerals.

As well as that, the novel methods of sensor agro-technique that have emerged not long ago secure high and consistent harvests, while reducing the cost price of production. Indeed, the unique soil and climatic conditions of Uzbekistan, with 320 sunny days a year on the average and all four seasons coming in strict succession, create a combination of exclusively favorable possibilities for the cultivation of a wide range of high-quality fruit and vegetables.

The characteristic peculiarity of the Republic’s agricultural season is that it starts at the beginning of March, when early greens ripen in natural conditions, and lasts right up to the beginning of December, when the late varieties of grapes, melon, persimmon and quince are supplied to the market. All this makes Uzbekistan a reliable base on which to organize the stable provision of consumers with fruit, vegetables, melons, water melons and gourds.

In the course of its independent development, Uzbekistan carried out radical reforms in agriculture, making it possible to completely diversify the sector, to ensure the provision of the population with the main food varieties and to organize their export. In a short period of time, many regions managed to become successful producers and exporters of fruit and vegetables that are always much in demand in the world marketplace.

A number of high-yield intensive gardening zones were created countrywide, with up-to-date drop-irrigation systems being installed there. A program of the further development of vine-growing passed in the Republic last year stipulates a 1.3-fold increase in the total acreage of vineyards. According to the latest data, each year the Republic of Uzbekistan exports foodstuffs, in the first place fruit and vegetables, to the tune of about US $5 billion. Only in the past three years, the volume of farm-produce exports from the country has trebled.

In 2013, the national production of farm produce has grown by 6.8 per cent. Measures taken to diversify the exports structure, to back indigenous exports as well as to help them penetrate into new foreign markets have resulted in a 10.9 per cent rise in exports volumes and the achievement by the country of a positive balance (more than US $1.3 billion) in its foreign trade turnover.

The ongoing endeavors to boost the development of small business and private entrepreneurship have enabled the sector to increase their share of the nation’s GDP from 54.6 per cent in 2012 to 55.8 per cent in 2013. As a result of the implementation of employment programs, approximately 970,000 new jobs have been created in agriculture, 60.3 per cent of which are in the countryside. In the first quarter of 2014, the volume of farm produce grown in Uzbekistan has gone up by 6.2 per cent. Today, the country annually produces some 16 million tons of fruit and vegetables.

It is necessary, however, to continue work on the prevention of harvest losses on the road from the field to the customer. This is particularly true for fruit, vegetables and grapes. A given problem is bound up with insufficient storage capacities, underdeveloped logistics and high transportation expenses.

One should also take into consideration the fact that a considerable percentage of fruit and vegetables cultivated domestically is consumed not in the fresh form, but in the form of canned food or dried fruits and vegetables, in which case the latter usually loses many of their consumer, gustatory and wholesome characteristics.

In connection with this, the Cabinet of Ministers’ working group regularly meet to canvass the whole spectrum of questions surrounding the rational use in the home market of farm produce surpluses, including fruit and vegetables , potatoes, grapes, melons, water-melons and gourds, as well as the efficient organization of their export deliveries.

The working group also approves the export prices for domestically-grown farm produce, on the basis of their wholesale cost’s limits that are formed in the home consumer market. In conformity with the legislation currently in effect, in cases where economic establishments engaged in exports activity have no appropriate documents confirming the fact that they are producers of the exported new harvest, they should sell 50 per cent of their currency receipts to the bank.

To prevent the ungrounded demurrage of farm produce at customs check-points during the harvest mass-ripening season, steps are taken to enlarge the staff of dog specialists.

Besides, allowing for the fact that farm produce is perishable, the procedure for customs registration of loaded carriages, mechanical sections and other vehicles should take no longer than one day.

Delivery contracts, not confirmed by appropriate bank documents on the receipt of prepayment in foreign currency for the exportation of farm produce, should not be registered by customs authorities. When the new harvest of farm produce is mass exported, domestic banks have several employees on duty at their foreign-operation control departments on Saturday and Sunday.

To ensure the opportune execution of mutual settlement operations between exporting enterprises and agricultural producers, the banks should render practical assistance with the provision of credits and cash, in conformity with the established procedure.

Farm produce will be exported only after the pre-payment of foreign currency receipts is carried out or the conditions of the letter-of-credit payment are met. Those exporting enterprises that don’t infringe the banking legislation and have no ungrounded overdue debtor liabilities associated with import contracts will be given practical assistance with the execution of pre-payment under contracts to import foreign socially-important consumer goods to the Republic’s home market.

Despite the significant progress made on this front, it is necessary to continue developing infrastructural facilities, to exploit the available resources and potentialities and to inculcate modern technologies such as shock freezing and storage in a neutral gas environment, with a view to storing fresh farm produce, ensuring stability and price predictability, decreasing the dependency on seasonal factors etc.

Today, large-scale projects are under way in this sector. Construction and complete upgrading of as many as 274 modern refrigerators and storehouses for fruit and vegetables have recently been brought to completion, whose total storage capacity exceeds 190,000 tons.

The up-to-date storage facilities that were put into service in the Navoi Free Industrial-Economic Zone are capable of storing more than 13, 000 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables in a neutral gas environment. This produce is then delivered to the markets of Europe and Asia by air with the help of international air transport. The capacities of the Intermodal Logistics Center are used for this purpose, including Navoi International Airport, which is operated by Korean Air, one of the world’s biggest freight carriers.

There are over 1,300 storehouses in Uzbekistan to date, with their total storage capacity in excess of 630,000 tons. The main varieties of fruit and vegetables stored there each year allow the indigenous farmers not only to maintain stable prices in the home market, but also to guarantee regular export deliveries of fresh farm produce in winter and spring.

The International Specialized Exhibition-Sale of Mini-technologies and Compact Equipment for the Agro-industrial Complex, Uzbekistan Agrominitech held in the Republic annually and the International Specialized Exhibition of Agricultural Technical Devices, Equipment and Machinery, Uzbekistan Agrotechmash Expo play an important role in the development of agriculture in the country.

Let it be stressed that such events are assuming ever grater topical importance, taking into account the complexity of problems facing the national agro-industrial complex.

In addition, the domestic producers are among the most active participants of a number of international exhibitions and specialized fairs. Their participation in such events starts bearing fruit. At present, over 180 varieties of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables are exported to 80 countries throughout the world. The Republic of Uzbekistan is one of the world’s top ten leading suppliers of apricots, plums, grapes, nuts, cabbage and other varieties of fruit and vegetables. This fact cannot but gladden Uzbek peasants, inspiring them to further improve the quality of locally grown fruit and vegetables and to expand the export potential of the national agro-industrial complex.

The main priorities of the country’s socio-economic development are as follows: a significant increase in the level of processing of agricultural raw materials at the domestic agricultural enterprises; the most efficient use of all available reserves and possibilities; modernization of processing facilities; outfitting of agricultural enterprises with the latest highly productive machinery that meet all international requirements and standards and, last but not least, the attraction to the sector of direct foreign investments.

Source: «Business» newspaper

Original-Inhalt von Botschaft Usbekistan und übermittelt von Botschaft Usbekistan