26 August, TASHKENT – Karakoram Innovation, a UK-based developmental innovation consultancy has held an official visit to Uzbekistan over 23-27 August in order to run a 5-day rapid innovation design sprint in order to lay the foundations needed to introduce digital solutions to improving land management practices for Uzbekistan’s pastures.
Karakoram was invited to begin work on this project after being selected as the winner of the international UNDP Cultiv@te programme, which aims to empower individuals in creating healthy and equitable food systems, at personal and community levels, and across systems and structures. This is achieved through an integrated approach working across the three directions of identifying challenges, systemic thinking and piloting local solutions.
The innovation solution has been developed and the prototype has been demonstrated in a farm in Akhangaran district of Tashkent region which is the pilot project area of UNDP/GEF project on Conservation of Mountain Ecosystems. The proposed solution would contribute to tackling many of outstanding challenges in modern pasture management.
“We’re stepping out of the box, brainstorming with farmers and framing outcomes into user-centered solutions. For example, we have identified that the most used app by Uzbekistan’s farmers is Telegram. We aim to build up a new app based on this popular platform, which will connect farmers from remote areas of the country and train them to overcome local challenges including landscape changes, livestock feeding efficiency, and more,” said mission leader Joshua Thomas.
In addition to meeting with farmers in Tashkent province, the team has also had official discussions with representatives of state bodies and development partners. These have included the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Innovative Development, the State Committee for Forestry, the State Committee for Veterinary and Livestock Development, and international organizations including USAID, FAO, FCDO and the Embassy of Israel in Uzbekistan.
During these meetings, the parties involved exchanged perspectives of ongoing challenges faced in Uzbekistan’s agricultural sector and agreed on further steps of collaboration.
“We welcome the Cultiv@ate mission’s visit to Uzbekistan. It is very timely, given the rapid advancement of climate change and its national consequences. Our country’s economy is very dependent on agricultural land, with crop cultivation accounting for almost 20 percent of our GDP,” said Mr. Akmal Nuriddinov, Leading Specialist on Research and Implementation of Innovations in the regional development, Ministry of Innovative Development.
After the completion of this one-week Sprint, the Karakoram team will return to the UK and US to synthesize findings and begin planning the subsequent 18-month trial.
For more information, please contact Malika Musaeva, UNDP communications specialist, at +99893 501 4943 or firstname.lastname@example.org.