Ambitious plans to turn Uzbekistan to one of gthe biggest fruits and vegetables basket of the world
Uzbekistan intends to increase the fruit and vegetable production to 26 million tons by the end of 2020, against the current 19 million tons.
As estimated, the annual growth of fruit and vegetable production will be not less than 6% in the next five years. Meanwhile, these crops are not predicted to be the major drivers of the increase in agricultural production. The biggest growth is expected for fish and honey- by more than twice.
Uzbekistan possesses favorable natural and climatic conditions for the production of food agricultural products. In 2016, farmers have produced more than 37 million tons of various agricultural products, including nearly 20 million tons of fruits, vegetables and melons, about 9.5 million tons of milk, more than 2 million tons of meat. The numbers can be substantially increased, with an eye to the growing demand in the neighboring countries and the Russian Federation.
By 2020, Uzbek experts also predict growth in fruit and vegetable processing by 23% or 4.3 million tons. For example, processing of meat will increase by 17.6% (275,400 tons), milk – by 16.4% (2.35 million tons). As a comparison, in 2011-2016, the growth of fruit and vegetable processing has been at 7%, meat at 12.7%, milk at 9.9%.
Uzbekistan developed and approved the Food Industry Development Program for 2016-2020, aiming to expand the range and increase the volume of production and exportation of high-quality competitive goods, build new and revamp the existing infrastructure facilities in the food industry.
The document provides for the implementation of 180 projects totaling $596 million, to be funded by 40% of own funds of enterprises, 32% of bank loans, and 27% of foreign investments and loans.
Today, the food industry of Uzbekistan is represented by more than 9,700 companies, 1,493 of which are engaged in meat and milk processing, 1,313 in fruit and vegetable processing, 1,137 are confectionery manufacturers, while 108 produce oil and fat products, and more than 5,700 manufacture other food products
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