By Kamila Aliyeva
Uzbekistan will purchase 5,778 units of equipment for agricultural needs of the country in the first half of 2018.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree “On additional measures to further improve the technical equipment of agriculture” on January 4.
The document notes that the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources jointly with Uzagrotehsanoatholding JSC determined the primary need for the supply of modern arable and tilled tractors, combine harvesters, plows, seeders and other agricultural equipment for the spring agrotechnical work in 2018 in the amount of only 5,778 units, including 758 arable tractors, 1,500 tilled tractors, 330 horticultural tractors.
In addition, 2,790 units of hinged and trailed agricultural machinery, as well as 400 combine harvesters will be also purchased, according to the decree.
In particular, it is planned to purchase John Deere, Belarus, T-7060, T-6070 tractors, CASE, Vector, Dominator 130 grain harvesters, plows, seeders, sprayers, cultivators, etc.
The delivery of agricultural equipment is carried out at the expense of credits of Agrobank, own funds of farms and machine and tractor parks, as well as loans provided to machine and tractor parks from Uzagrotehsanoatholding and Uzagroservis.
The Uzbek leader recommended Agrobank to issue loans to farms and machine and tractor parks that are part of Uzagroservis JSC for a period of 10 years at a rate of 5 percent per annum under security (guarantee, pledge of property) of Uzagrotehsanoatholding and organizations in its composition.
Uzbekistan'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