Tashkent, 18 May 2020 - Earlier this year our joint project with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ‘Improving Sustainability and Adaptation of Farmers of the Ferghana Valley to Climate Change’ launched a competition for which farmers were invited to submit innovative agricultural business ideas. Participants were asked to provide business proposals incorporating adaptations to climate change, serving to expand export opportunities for agricultural producers.
The selection of projects to be supported with technical assistance has been completed - this choice was not easy as 50 business proposals were received. The submissions included projects for developing orchardswhich apply drip irrigation systems (particularly useful for cherries, apples, almonds and similar crops),creating organic fertilizer and biological laboratories, constructing or adapting buildings into refrigerators tostore fruits and vegetables or into greenhouses for growing citrus and flowers, developing new means for vegetable seed production and drip irrigation, and many others.
We studied these proposals, arranged visits to project sites, discussed the plans with their initiators, considered existing problems and rational approaches to solutions, the potential for implementing projects, and other vital aspects. As a result, 14 projects reached the competition’s second stage, when their leaders took part in training courses on business planning and marketing and made their own business plans.
Due to the necessary quarantine measures applied to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the final review of proposal documents by the competition’s selection committee was undertaken remotely. When necessary they contacted the applicants, clarified issues and put forward suggestions, and after this process the competition’s final winners were chosen.
The selection committee included representatives of khokimiyats (local governments), the Department of Agriculture, territorial departments of the Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Business Women, the Council of Farming and Dekhkan Enterprises and Owners of Garden Plots in the Andijan, Namangan and Ferghana regions, and also project staff.
Based on the final selection results seven project proposals were recommended for project financing. These included businesses
- creating intensive gardens;
- projects for vegetable seed production (in particular for tomatoes);
- refrigerated storage of vegetables and fruits; and
- creation of a honey packaging process.
As this major task has been completed, now is the time to start implementing the new climate-friendly and economically-viable business projects. Some of these have already delivered significant results, so we hope that by the end of the calendar year almost all the initiatives will have been launched and making an impact.
Our activities in agriculture modernization and intensive development have been carried out in accordance with Uzbekistan’s Development Strategy for 2017-2021, while they are also helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by UN member nations.
The project ‘Improving Sustainability and Adaptation of Farmers of the Ferghana Valley to Climate Change Risks’ has been implemented as part of the climate adaptation projects of the Trust Fund ‘Russian Federation - United Nations Development Programme’.