INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 156 August 9, 2016

posted 16 Aug 2016, 08:06 by Webmaster Ambasciata
EXPORT
Food security: sufficiency within the country, export deliveries

BUSINESS CLIMATE
The Uzbek Commodity Exchange (UZEX) has completed the modernization of the electronic system of exhibition and fair-based trade, which forms the basis of e-commerce development

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Uzbekistan and Vietnam hold consultations

OLYMPICS-2016
Rishod Sobirov from Uzbekistan wins second Olympic medal

export

Food security: sufficiency within the country, export deliveries

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), nowadays more than 840 million people, or each 8th inhabitant of the planet, are undernourished. What’s more, over 30 per cent of the world population suffers from problems that are associated with malnutrition and a shortage of major microelements and vitamins. All these facts graphically illustrate what a pressing problem the achievement of food security is for each nation. At the same time, it should be noted that the provision of people with consumer goods of paramount importance in strict compliance with the established physiological norms is meant first and foremost. Unfortunately, in the past few years, the growth rates of their production have lagged behind the rapid increases in the number of people in the world and their everyday demands. In countries, which lack appropriate conditions for the development of agriculture and processing facilities of their own, the problem exacerbates substantially. And this arouses profound concern in the world community.

Special note should be given to the fact that in today’s complicated international situation, the Republic of Uzbekistan manages not only to meet its population’s demand for the most essential consumer goods, but also to export some of them to the world marketplace. For the time being, the per capita consumption of vegetables in the country is 300 kg, potatoes – 75 kg and grapes – 44 kg., or three times above the optimal consumption norms. Uzbekistan these days exports more than 180 varieties of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables to 80 destinations worldwide.

In his address to the International Conference, “On the pivotal realization reserves of the Food Program in Uzbekistan” held in Tashkent on 5-6 June 2014, Zose Gratiani da Silva, Director General of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, dwelled on the great progress made by the Republic of Uzbekistan on this front. In particular, he observed: “In the period from the beginning of the 2000s up to the present time Uzbekistan has scored big successes in agriculture and food security. The main factor behind this impressive accomplishment is an increase in the scope of agricultural production and productivity levels at the beginning of the 2000s. “

Uzbekistan is a country with the centuries-old experience of irrigated land tenure and a high scientific potential in this field. But when it was part of the former Soviet Union, its economy was one-sided because of cotton predominance. The acquisition of independence 25 years ago marked the start of a totally new period in the development of national farming.

Today, the indigenous peasants work hard to tackle such vital tasks as the achievement of the country’s food security, the improvement of the population’s living standards and the acceleration of economic growth rates. Among the most urgent tasks is also an increase in production volumes of farm produce. And thanks to the intent attention the Uzbek leaders devote to a given sector as well as to the creation of deserved labour conditions in rural areas, all these tasks will be successfully fulfilled by the time fixed.

There are good reasons to say so. In 1991, as one example, the population’s demands for meat, dairy products and confectionery were covered mainly by imports. At present, the national food industry is well-equipped to satiate these requirements completely. In the 25 years since the Republic gained independence, even despite the fact that its population increased by almost 11 million, the per capita consumption of meat grew almost 1.4-fold, milk and dairy products – 1.5-fold, potatoes – 1.9-fold, vegetables – more than 2.6-fold and fruit – 6.3-fold.

Such remarkable growth rates were powered by a strong engine. The point is, as far back as 1989, in Soviet times yet, the state started allotting personal plots to farmers, on the initiative of the Uzbek leader, with a view to strengthening the social protection of the rural population, increasing their incomes and expanding the production of foodstuffs. Such prescient practical steps have gained in scope after the signing by the Uzbek President of the Decree, “On additional measures to facilitate the development of subsidiary small holdings of collective farmers, sovkhoz workers and other categories of citizens residing in rural areas” as of 11th January 1991. This historical document specified a set of tasks, including the preparation, till September 1991, of appropriate documents to regulate the allotment in 1989-1990 of personal plots to domestic farmers; making an inventory of all personal plots allotted in 1989-1990; handing over all unused plots to the possession of households that need them badly; and controlling the observance of social justice when it comes to the allotment of personal plots to peasants. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that this was a striking illustration of the Uzbek leader’s concern for the prosperity of the country’s population.

Another important step in this direction was the Presidential Decree, “On the further strengthening of dekhkan establishments (farms) and the state support of entrepreneurial activity in the Republic” dated 29th November 1991.

As a result of all the efficient measures taken in Uzbekistan right after the acquisition of independence and sovereignty, as many as 1.5 million households were afforded an opportunity to expand their personal plots, with over 500,000 other households being given a chance to get new plots. This means that owing to reforms, the socio-economic problems of more than 2 million households, or 10 million rural inhabitants at an average, were solved positively.

It is necessary to observe that similar political and socio-economic measures, aimed at turning over the arable land to its true owners and increasing production volumes of farm produce, have been consistently improved. The state started transferring the land plots, hitherto belonging to collective and shirkat farms, to the possession of privately-owned farms and individual entrepreneurs on long leases.

At present, over 160,000 farms are operating in the Republic, of which more than 36,000 farms are large-scale multi-profile establishments. Their performance doesn’t come to land tenure or cattle-breeding only. Attracting latest technologies and purchasing compact processing equipment, they develop many other promising industries, thereby creating new jobs for rural inhabitants, enabling them to increase their incomes, as well as satiating the home market with inexpensive high-quality produce.

As far as the food security is concerned, it should be emphasized that in the 25 years of its development as an independent sovereign state, Uzbekistan has almost completely changed the structure of areas under cultivation. In the 1990s, the best arable land was used to cultivate cotton. For now, the areas under cotton have shrunk by almost 50 per cent, with cereals, vegetables, melons and gourds, oil-bearing crops etc. being grown instead of cotton. Besides, orchards and vineyards are laid out there as well. In this process, the domestic farmers are guided by the Presidential Decree, “On measures to optimize the areas under crops and increase production of food crops” as of 20th October 2008. Amenably to this document, starting the year 2009, the square of cotton plantations is reduced by 75.8 thou hectares and by 30.1 thou hectares – since 2012.  Moreover, in a number of districts (Asaka, Djambay and Yangiyul) the cultivation of cotton is terminated. Today, local farmers grow fruit, vegetables, melons and gourds on their fields.

The Presidential Resolution, “On measures to further reform and develop agriculture in the period 2016-2020” dated 29th December 2015 is designed to take the national farming to the next level in terms of volume, quality and value. In accordance with a given document, in the indicated period 170.5 thou hectares of former areas under cotton and 50 thou hectares of areas under cereals will be used to cultivate food crops. In the current year, the areas under cotton have already shrunk by 30.5 thou hectares. As a consequence, over the years of independence the production volumes of farm produce more than doubled; in particular, the cultivation of potatoes went up 7-fold, fruit – 4.1-fold, vegetables – 2.8-fold, milk and dairy products – 1,7-fold and meat – 1.3-fold.     

The most striking achievement is that the Republic of Uzbekistan has gained grain independence over a very short period of time. Nowadays it ranks among the world’s biggest exporters of grain crops and foodstuffs made thereof. In 1990, the Uzbek peasants grew 1 million tons of cereals, whilst in the year 2000 this indicator was already 4.1 million tons, and over 7.3 million tons – in 2015. This is another eloquent testimony to the utmost efficiency of reforms carried out in the national agriculture in general and in the grain-farming sector in particular.

Today, the Republic of Uzbekistan not only ensures its own food security, but also supplies foodstuffs to other countries by exporting its own farm produce all over the world. This fact is generally recognized by the international community. At the 39th conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) held in Rome (Italy) in June 2015, Uzbekistan was presented with a special award for the successes achieved in ensuring its food security. This event took place at the rewarding ceremony that marked the states, which succeeded in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Along with the goal-oriented work undertaken in the Republic to expand the areas under vegetables, melons and gourds, potatoes as well as areas needed to lay out orchards and vineyards, all requisite conditions are being created for raising the level of crop yields owing to the clever organization of work there. Put differently, a special mechanism is introduced in the countryside to monitor the crops sown in the fields of dekhan establishments and farms and on personal plots belonging to farmers. One should mention here the existing optimal system of deliveries of seeds, fruit-tree saplings, mineral fertilizer, fuels and lubricates etc.

Food reserves are formed and augmented not only by expanding the areas under crops, applying the advanced world experience and modern intensive agricultural technologies, as well as by growing better  varieties of plants and developing better cultivation techniques. For instance, researchers and specialists at the Scientific-Research Institute of Horticulture, Vine-Growing and Wine-Making named after Academician M. Mirzaev have created 28 high-yielding varieties of fruit and grapes, which are put on the State Registry. Additionally, as many as 36 new varieties of apples, pears, peaches, apricots, sweet-cherries, almonds, nuts, currants and strawberries have been grown. All of them are submitted for entry into the State Registry of crops recommended for cultivation and regionalization. And the selectionists at the Scientific-Research Institute of Vegetables, Melons and Gourds and Potatoes have created 41 high-yielding varieties of vegetables, which ripen in different seasons and are disease- and pest-resistant, 5 new varieties of melons and gourds and 6 varieties of potatoes.

In the past few years, serious ecological factors have been coming into play as a result of climate change, thus confronting the indigenous selectionists with new demands. These include the development of more scientifically-substantiated and tested high-yielding varieties, which are capable of growing under water shortages and adapting to drought-afflicted territories. As well as that, the new varieties of plants should be disease- and pest-resistant. With this in view, a unique laboratory has been set up at the Scientific-Research Institute named after Academician M. Mirzaev, the only establishment of its kind in the Central Asian region. Called “Invitro”, it affords the researchers an opportunity for growing saplings of fruit-trees in a microbe-free environment.

By and large, the development of seed-farming and introduction of advanced farm-produce processing and storage technologies have led to a five-fold rise in the volumes of processed fruit and vegetables in the past five years.

It is generally known that livestock farming is one more industry meeting the population’s demand for foodstuffs. This sector accounts for 42.2 per cent of all foodstuffs produced in Uzbekistan to date. Thanks to the formation of free-market mechanisms and a range of privileges granted to local cattle-breeders, the total number of livestock and production volumes of meat and dairy produce are on a rising trend. Let’s turn to figures. In 2014, the total head of livestock in the Republic went up 2.4-fold (including cows and poultry – twice as much and 1.8-fold, respectively), compared with 1991.

To ensure both the further development of stock-raising farms and an increase in the total number of pedigree cattle, more than 60,000 thoroughbred cows have been delivered from Poland, Austria, Holland and Germany.

Before the acquisition of independence, the Uzbek people couldn’t even imagine the coming of such prosperous times, when they would have every opportunity to work efficiently, to improve their wellbeing and to raise their living standards as a whole. Gone are the days when many indigenous peasants earned so little for their laborious toil in the fields and farms that they could hardly make both ends meet. Today, the situation is quite different. The Uzbek farmers, making the best use of all the privileges granted by the government, secure high and consistent harvests, milk yields and additional weights and thereby contribute to the national food security and to the development of the country’s agro-industrial complex.

(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)

BUSINESS CLIMATE

The Uzbek Commodity Exchange (UZEX) has completed the modernization of the electronic system of exhibition and fair-based trade, which forms the basis of e-commerce development

Given the rising popularity of online trading, UZEX specialists have carried out consistent work on the development of the system based on novel developments. In July 2016, the project entered its final phase which seeks to update the system of online auctions with the use of electronic digital signatures as well as introduction of the new version of the site for fair-based trade.

At present, trade and payment of the fair trade is integrated into a single electronic system that allows you to perform all operations via a new website - yarmarka.uzex.uz. The introduction of electronic digital signature in the initial phase allows customers to directly via a personal account refund in the clearing and settlement chamber of the exchange, as well as restore your login and password without recourse to the Exchange in writing.

In addition, the updated system does not require re-accreditation for customers previously accredited in any of the exchange’s trading platforms, including stock trades, government and corporate procurement, as well as the electronic catalog. At a client's request, all market participants are migrated to the unified system.

The new version of Exchange website meets the trends of development in the field of online trading, and has an improved design, a more user-friendly interface, advanced search and navigation mechanism. For example, if before the customers when placing information on this product have entered the name of the product groups and positions independently, the new interface provides an ability to choose from the range of products and product categories for further nominations for sale. This advanced search engine allows you to find items on a particular individual set of parameters.

Bidding through a global network has a number of comparative advantages related to efficiency, convenience for customers, low transaction costs for the subjects of transactions, as well as the presence of a large customer base of both residents and non-residents of the Republic. At the same time, trades are conducted around the clock.

Online trade does not require mandatory inclusion in the quotation list of exchange that contributes to a significant expansion of tradable commodity positions.

The effectiveness of fair trading is evidenced by a constant increase in the interest of national producers, including small businesses and private entrepreneurship, to participate in them, as well as the widespread adoption of information and communication technologies at the domestic enterprises, which have recently been increasingly enjoying the benefits of online auctions.

In particular, the volume of transactions made in the system of fair trades in the past 10 years has increased eight-fold and reached reached 1.1 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 09.08.2016, 1$= 2974.20 soums) last year. In the first half of this year, this figure reached 780.2 billion soums, which exceeds the previous year by 67%. The number of committed transactions on this platform has increased by 7.9%, while the share of small business in the concluded transactions amounted to 78%. In the structure of goods sold, a significant part of the market has been occupied by building materials, which accounted for 21%, engineering products and chemical products - by 10%, and polymers - 7%.

The modernization of the exhibition and fair trading system creates serious preconditions for entering a qualitatively new level of online trading in Uzbekistan, providing opportunities for all participants in online auctions, especially for entrepreneurs in the field of e-commerce. In the future, the exchange plans to increase the use of electronic digital signature in fair-based trade, increased levels of personalization of website content to user preferences, system integration of fairs sales and the provision of individuals with free access to it.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

International cooperation

Uzbekistan and Vietnam hold consultations

Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and Vietnam held consultations on inventory of the juridical base of relations on 2-4 August 2016.

According to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed current state of legal bases of cooperation between two states and perspectives of its expansion.

Representatives of two states also exchanged opinion on draft of the Uzbek-Vietnamese documents, which are currently in discussion and directed at further developing cooperation in various sphere.

Within the consultations, the delegation of Uzbekistan held a meeting with the Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung.

At the negotiations, the side expressed mutual interest in further deepening bilateral cooperation and positively rated results of the negotiations.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

Olympics-2016

Rishod Sobirov from Uzbekistan wins second Olympic medal

Judoka of Uzbekistan team Rishod Sobirov, performing in the weight category up to 66 kg, won the bronze medal of the Olympic Games. Rishod defeated Adrian Gomboc from Slovenia.

This medal has become the second at the Olympics for Uzbekistan national team. A member of the national team of Uzbekistan in judo Diyorbek Urozboev won the first bronze on the first day of the Olympics.            

The 29-year-old Rishod Sobirov  due to this victory became the three-time Olympic bronze medalist. He won bronze at the Olympic Games in 2008 in Beijing and in 2012 in London.

(Source: UzReport.uz) 

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