Uzbekistan launches project funded by EU, World Bank

Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 24

By Fakhri Vakilov – Trend:

A ceremony for launching a new project aimed at solving major problems in the livestock sector of Uzbekistan was held on April 23 in Central Asian country, Trend reports with the reference to the press service of Ministry of Agriculture.

The European Union (15 million euros) and the World Bank ($150 million) jointly financed the project.

The project addresses key issues in the livestock sector, such as low productivity, insufficient value added, limited access to finance and the market for small farmers, poor coordination between different stakeholders, inefficient management of the value chain, lack of quality of animal health services and insufficient resources for research institutions.

It was noted that 90 percent of livestock production in Uzbekistan depends on small-scale farming: the majority of small-scale farmers remains in natural farming characterized by low productivity, limited marketable surpluses and weak linkages with markets and integration into higher value chains.

Although farmers own less than 15 percent of arable land, their share in livestock production has increased to 90 percent of production.

Considering that the majority of small farmers almost do not produce marketable surplus in excess of the needs of households, productivity remains low. However, 4.7 million small farmers rely on livestock to improve their livelihoods.

“This project aims to increase the efficiency of the livestock sector by increasing the number of small farmers participating in commercial value chains, increasing productivity and manufacture, as well as ensuring sustainable incomes. I would also like to thank the Delegation of the European Union and the World Bank for their efforts to develop the sector, the continued support that is being provided to the agricultural sector of Uzbekistan, which is highly appreciated by the Ministry and the Government of Uzbekistan,” the Minister of Agriculture of Uzbekistan, Jamshid Khojayev said.

In addition, the project will disseminate global best practices, which will be supported by credit lines for farmers and economic operators of the value chain, available through commercial banks on preferential credit terms.

Moreover, the project will facilitate the establishment of productive partnerships between participants in the supply chain (producers, buyers, service providers through technical assistance grants, expansion services and additional investments).

The head of the delegation of the European Union in Uzbekistan, Eduards Stiprays stated that this project will be aimed at increasing the capacity of state economic agencies, supporting reforms of public services, research, knowledge dissemination, veterinary services, and the development of the value chain.

In particular, the EU grant will help ensure access to finance for small producers, increase the productivity of small farmers and involve them in broader market participation.

World Bank loans will be used to support Veterinary Services and to finance working capital and investment in the livestock sector throughout the country.

The opening ceremony was attended by Minister of Agriculture of Uzbekistan Jamshid Khojaev, First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee for Veterinary and Livestock Development Shukhrat Jabbarov, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan Ambassador Eduards Stiprays, Senior Economist in Agriculture of the World Bank Office Sergiy Zorya.

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Follow author on Twitter:@vakilovfaxri

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