European Union finances Uzbekistan's agricultural sector
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Mar. 12
By Ilkin Seyfaddini - Trend:
The Government of Uzbekistan and the European Union signed a 40-million euro financing agreement, which aims to provide budgetary support and additional assistance to the agricultural sector of Uzbekistan, Trend reports citing the EU website.
The proposed actions include support to the government of Uzbekistan to assist in the implementation of the new state strategy for development of the agro-food sector in 2020-2030, aimed at strengthening public services to assist farmers and agribusinesses.
The Government of Uzbekistan is committed to implementing a wide range of reforms in the agricultural sector, the report said. Actions are envisaged to reform agriculture, develop new services for farmers, improve their access to innovative information, upgrade their knowledge and provide training, as well as digitize the sector and invest in agrological infrastructure and services. All these actions are aimed at improving our competitiveness both at home and abroad.
As part of the transformation of the agricultural sector, reforms are being implemented to gradually move away from the traditional orientation to cotton and grain production and to stimulate the production of other agricultural products for which Uzbekistan has comparative advantages, particularly for some valuable fruit and vegetable products, well known in the CIS, but less known in the rapidly growing markets of Asia and the EU.
Such transformation will make a significant contribution to the protection of the country's natural resources, as cotton and grain production lead to significant soil degradation and salinization. It will also help to improve the living conditions of the 15 million people (49.4 percent of the total population and 75 percent of low-income households) living in rural areas of Uzbekistan, but also, importantly, it will provide a sustainable solution to the high birth rate and increasing labor force in rural areas of Uzbekistan, said EU.
Agriculture and agricultural development are the only major focus of the Multi-Year Indicator Program for 2014-2020 (MYIP). The program has reserved 168 million euro for Uzbekistan. The EU is the leading provider of financing for the agricultural sector in Uzbekistan. EU grants are also used to complement and facilitate large investments through loans.
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