Uzbek Farmers Familiarized with the Newest International Innovations in AgricultureMar 5, 2015
Constructive dialogue between local farmers, experts of UNDP in Uzbekistan and Macedonia took place within the framework of a series of workshops held these days in Tashkent and Namangan. Participants presented their best innovative practices in agriculture, and shared experience of developing innovations.
The world's population is growing and demand for food is increasing respectively. According to the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture report, the world has to find a way to produce 56% more food by 2050.
The question is how to increase agricultural production to ensure food security for every person, and reduce a negative impact on the environment? Participants of the workshop replied, that the answer lies in innovative solutions.
In his presentation Mr. Dimitar Sekovski, the Project Manager of the UNDP Macedonia, on the example of farms located in Prespa Lake region shared with innovative solutions introduced to change farmers’ approaches in fertilizing and irrigation. He highlighted that one of the effective innovation was a creation of a platform for the exchange of information and introduction of new agricultural technologies that can reduce negative impacts on the environment. In particular, the Prespa Project supported the creation of Farmers’ Association, agro-chemical laboratories, a monitoring system of pests and diseases. In addition, new methods of irrigation were introduced, pilot garden was established, where practical trainings are held, and small grants were established. The project also made a good use of mobile communication and social media to reach out wide audience.
“It should be noted that all innovations introduced within the framework of our project were initiated by our farmers,” said Mr. Sekovski.
Mr. Sekovski also informed about the new online game ‘Apple Land’, that helps farmers to test various methods virtually, and then to introduce a new practice in reality.
Mr. Alexey Volkov, the National Coordinator of the Small Grants Program of the Global Environment Fund, shared his experience of innovation in Uzbekistan. He told about the effectiveness of No-Till Farming, land laser leveling and other technologies that improve soil fertility and productivity.
Ms. Jasmina Belcovska, Executive Associate/Social Innovation Specialist of the UNDP Macedonia, completed the workshop with a motivating presentation and interactive sessions on the stages of innovations’ development.
During two days of interactive sessions held during March 3-4 in Namangan more than 60 farmers of the region have studied the methodology for identifying challenges, developing ideas into innovative solutions. It is expected that the best ideas will be further developed and implemented together with the specialists. As a follow-up, UNDP’s ‘Aid for Trade’ Project will conduct workshops, collect innovative ideas for further development and implementation.
“My farm has a large area of dry lands where we cultivate wheat and cotton. Improving crop yields is a very important matter for me. Therefore, I found the workshop useful. Particularly, I got interested in the tillage technologies. I plan to learn more about them and implement in my farm,” said Director of the ‘Obod Zamin Fayz’ Farm Hamidullah Akilov.
Today’s challenges require the private sector to create and apply sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices, contributing to the wellbeing of the population, especially in rural areas. In this aspect, the workshops have become a convenient platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience in developing innovative solutions in agriculture, as well as an important step towards attracting the farmers’ attention to using environmentally friendly technologies and innovations.
The events were organized by the UNDP Country Office in Uzbekistan in cooperation with the Regional Team of the ‘Aid for Trade’ Project in Istanbul, and UNDP in Macedonia in the framework of the ‘East-East’ cooperation.