ADB supports horticulture sector in Uzbekistan
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The greenhouse owner Nigmonhodja Inogamov enjoys growing tomatoes in autumn-winter season, as he expanded his business from poultry to farming, after construction of the greenhouses in Piskent district of Tashkent region.
“I can provide tomatoes to local markets from September to April now, thanks to the greenhouses, that I was able to construct with a loan from a local bank under ADB’s horticulture scheme.”
ADB approved a loan for $154 million in November 2016 to finance horticulture value chain development. The project is financing over 330 businesses similar to Nigmonhodja Inogamov’s greenhouses through eight accredited participating commercial banks starting from 2018 and until 2022.
“ADB’s ongoing support to this sector helps farmers and businesses to get financing, employ more people and generate stable incomes. As of today, the project already helped create over 3,000 new jobs in horticulture sector,” – says Ms. Cindy Malvichini, ADB’s acting Country Director for Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan’s horticultural products are fast becoming the second largest agricultural export commodity group, after cotton. Horticultural export revenues have more than tripled since 2006. Uzbekistan is geographically well positioned to take advantage of the large and growing markets for horticultural products domestically and abroad. Of the 20 million tons of horticultural output in 2016, only 15% was processed. Of the 3 million tons of fruits produced, 69% are consumed fresh, 20% processed, and 11% exported. Of the 9.3 million tons of vegetables, 81% are consumed fresh, 11% processed, 4% used for seed, and 3% exported. There is a significant opportunity for improved value addition from increased processing and exports of both fresh and processed products.
Despite the project is ongoing, it already has helped establish 3,171 hectares of intensive orchards and 133.6 hectares of water and energy-saving greenhouses and increased refrigerated storage capacity by 60, 500 tons. Post harvesting processing capacity improved by over 103,000 tons, including packaging manufacture and procurement of agricultural machinery.
ADB is planning to support further diversification in agriculture sector through a loan project of $197 million approved on 15 November 2018. The project will finance the establishment of two large agro-logistic Centers for horticulture in Andijan and Samarkand provinces. Such infrastructure will provide all necessary facilities and services under one “roof”: storage, auction, food safety certification, transport, shipping, expert market advice, trade finance and commercial banking etc. Significantly larger volumes of produce with improved quality could be marketed with better post-harvest logistics, notably cold storage and transport ideally integrated with quality and safety standard certification provided through wholesales or export processing facilities in and around the production areas.