By Kamila Aliyeva
A network of centers for the integrated service of farms, dehkan farms as well as the owners of household land will be established throughout Uzbekistan in the near future.
This decision was recently approved by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The new centers will be created at the district councils of farms, dekhkan farms and landowners, podrobno.uz reported.
Their main tasks include providing consulting services to producers of agricultural products, including consulting in the legal, economic, technological spheres and assistance in drawing up business plans.
In addition, they will engage in intermediary services in the sale of agricultural products in the domestic and foreign markets, the delivery on a contractual basis of necessary material resources, seeds and seedlings, containers, equipment and other means to farmers.
Another important area of their work is providing consulting services to attract bank loans, funds and grants from international and foreign financial organizations. The agrarian’s qualification advancement will not be left aside. The centers will conduct training and practical courses for retraining and advanced training in the sphere of agriculture.
The creation of new cooperative chains among farmers in the production, harvesting, storage, processing, and export of agricultural products is also an important direction of the centers’ operation.
The country's economy depends heavily on agricultural production. Last year the volume of gross agricultural production in Uzbekistan reached 47.4 trillion soums. As of January 1, 2017, the number of operating farms exceeded 132,000 and dekhkan farms - 4.7 million.
In total, 8.2 million tons of grain, 2.9 million tons of potatoes, 11.2 million tons of vegetables, over 3 million tons of fruits and berries, 1.7 million tons of grapes, 2 million tons of melons and 2.9 million tons of raw cotton were produced in the country last year.
Because of the risks associated with a one-crop economy as well as from considerations of food security for the population, Uzbekistan has been trying to diversify its production of other agricultural products, while reducing cotton production.
The Central Asian nation intends to decrease production and public procurement of raw cotton up to 3 million tons by 2020.
Thus, Uzbekistan aims to increase production of grain crops up to 8.5 million tons with the growth rate of 16.4 percent by 2020 due to optimization of lands and introduction of modern agriculture technologies. It is also planned to increase production of potatoes by 35 percent, other vegetables by 30 percent, fruits and grapes 21.5 percent, meat by 26.2 percent, milk by 47.3 percent, eggs by 74.5 percent and fish by 2.5 times.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz