Tashkent, Uzbekistan, June 7
By Demir Azizov- Trend:
Uzbekistan is interested in expanding cooperation in the sphere of production of fruits and vegetables with all international organizations, foreign investors, entrepreneurs, banks, scientists and specialists.
Uzbek President Islam Karimov made the remarks in his speech at the international conference on the theme "the most important reserves of implementing the food program in Uzbekistan".
"In accordance with our estimates, in 2020 it is considered to increase production of fruits and vegetables, grape and melons by at least 2.3 times compared to 2014," he said.
The head of state drew the participants' attention to the unique soil and climatic conditions of Uzbekistan, creating exceptionally favourable conditions for growing fruits and vegetables in a wide range.
"The fruits and vegetables which are grown in our conditions significantly exceed the similar production of other regions on such basic consumer characteristics as the content of the natural sugar, amino and organic acids, important elements and other biologically valuable substances for health, irreplaceable in the ration, according to experts," Karimov added.
Uzbek breeders have cultivated more than 170 varieties of vegetables, melons and potatoes, as well as 175 new varieties of fruit and berry crops and grape so far.
At present, Uzbekistan exports more than 180 species of fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products to 80 countries, and the country is among the ten leading suppliers on the volume of such exports.
Uzbek president also stressed the importance of timely delivery of products on the way from the field to the consumer and the reduction of loss on this route.
At present, the country has more than 1300 storages of fruit and vegetable production with the capacity of over 630,000 tons per year.
Furthermore, there are facilities in the "Navoi" free industrial economic zone (FIEZ) for the storage of more than 3000 tonnes of fresh fruits and vegetables in the protecting atmoshpere which are delivered to the European and Asian markets.
The Uzbek companies will open Liepaja transport and logistics center at the Baltic port with the daily storage capacity of 1500 tonnes in the near future, through which fresh fruits and vegetables will be delivered directly to customers in Northern and Western Europe.
At present, there are about 400 enterprises with foreign direct investment, working in the areas of production of fresh products and manufacturing of food products on the basis of deep processing. Only in 2013, these enterprises produced goods worth more than $800 million, including exports worth more than $200 million.
At the same time, despite considerable progress in this area, Uzbekistan does not have enough infrastructure, resources, modern technology, such as shock freezing, storage in the protecting atmoshpere to keep products fresh, to ensure stability and predictability of prices, reduce dependence on seasonal factors, the president said.
Uzbekistan considers implementation of additional 265 investment projects on the handling and processing of raw fruit and vegetable totaling approximately $150 million within 1.5-4 years in the coming years.