UN to assist Uzbekistan in food production

The Uzbek government and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have signed a country programming framework covering the period from 2014 to 2017, FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia said.

The program envisages technical support of FAO to Uzbekistan in diversifying crops, improving livestock health and production, stepping up locust control, expanding fish production and managing natural resources in a sustainable way.

The agreement was signed by Uzbekistan's Agriculture and Water Resources Minister Shuhrat Teshaev and FAO Representative for Uzbekistan, Yuriko Shoji.

The new programming framework lays the groundwork for FAO technical support to Uzbekistan, in collaboration with resource partners, the private sector and other national and international entities.

Under the agreement, FAO and Uzbekistan plan to explore modern fruit production including orchards and vineyards. Introduction of new technologies for planting, harvesting, processing and storage are envisaged, to extend shelf life and increase export volume. In these and other crops, FAO will provide technical support on conservation agriculture and other good agricultural practices for both rain-fed and irrigated farming systems.

Livestock productivity and efforts to combat livestock diseases such as brucellosis and foot-and-mouth disease are highlighted, along with support to the country's veterinary services. Emphasis will be given to beekeeping, in view of its importance for crop pollination, and the potential for honey production and bee-based medical products.

Conservation and management of fisheries resources, high-quality fish feed production, aquaculture production systems and development of the supply chain for fish and fishery products are foreseen in the agreement.

The need to preserve Uzbekistan's natural resources while using them in a sustainable way is underscored. Forest resources, drought risk management, wildlife management, wastewater treatment and other areas for collaborative action are also featured.

This document follows the signing earlier in 2014 of a "host country agreement" for establishment of an FAO Representation in Tashkent.

The organization's representation was opened in early June during the visit of FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva to Uzbekistan.