NEWS AND EVENTS
July 24, 2013
Pearl of the Valley
By saying ‘Farghona’ they often mean the entire territory of the eastern valley of Uzbekistan, surrounded by mountain ranges of the Pamir-Alai and the Tien Shan, with its three regions. But above all, this is the name of the city and the region, which, strictly speaking, gave name to the whole region. It has become the next destination of Uzbekistan Today’s reporters to complete acquaintance with the eastern areas of the country. Below we offer you the story on how residents of Farghona live nowadays.
Farghona region is located in the southeast valley of the same name. Its area is about 7,000 square kilometers. It is home to over 3.2 million people, with more than 42 thousand enterprises, organizations and business entities. The region’s share in the gross domestic product is about 8%. It produces about 8% industrial and 9% agricultural products of all produced in the country.
Compared with the year 2000, the gross regional product grew almost twice. Without exaggeration, Farghona region is known with its textiles, fruit and vegetable products in all the continents of the globe.
Generally the region stands out with the abundance and diversity of natural and cultural resources, industrial potential. For that it is often called the pearl of the valley.
The region has large reserves of oil, gas, silica sand, gypsum, limestone, and other non-metallic minerals. This is largely a prerequisite of well developed oil refining and chemical industries, manufacture of construction materials. Metalworking and mechanical engineering has been busting in recent years. Continental climate with mild winter and hot summer season creates favorable conditions for agriculture. Rich crops of cotton and corn, delicious and fragrant fruits and vegetables contribute to the development of textile, food and oil industry.
Most of industrial enterprises of the region are located in the cities, which are also the country’s largest scientific, educational and historical centers. Farghona State University and Polytechnic Institute, branches of Tashkent Medical Academy and the University of Information Technology operate in Farghona, the regional center. Quqon is another city known for its Pedagogical Institute and architectural monuments: madrasahs, mosques and Khudoyarkhan Palace. Marghilon, a UNESCO’s Masterpiece of World Cultural Heritage, is famous for its masters of national silk fabrics - khan-atlas and adras. Uzbek Research Institute of Natural Fiber is located there too. Peculiar cultural and educational values have also formed in the region’s youngest town of Quvasoy, which was laid just sixty years ago.
Nowadays, towns of Farghona region get transformed in line with modern trends of architecture and urban planning. Industrial facilities move beyond the city. The roads get expanded; there are modern high-rises on the roadsides. This is the best solution taking into account that Farghona region is one of the country’s most densely populated regions. Parks and public gardens, favorite places for townspeople and visitors, are being beautified. Industry of hospitality is assigned a special part. Modern hotels, cafes and restaurants with high level of service have been built in recent years. Such infrastructure contributes to the development of tourism and attraction of foreign investors to the region.
Geographically, the region is divided into Oltiariq, Qoshtepa, Baghdod, Beshariq, Buvayda, Danghara, Quva, Rishton, Sokh, Toshloq, Uzbekiston, Uchkuprik, Farghona, Furqat and Yozyovon districts. These areas are mostly known for agriculture. The agricultural turnover covers approximately 567.5 square kilometers. Gardening is well developed along with the cotton, grain and vegetable growing. The region is amazing for its endless orchards and vineyards, which are located not only in designated areas of farms, but also on each plot. Much attention is paid to animal husbandry development throughout the entire Farghona Valley.
Farghona is an expanse not only for work but also for recreation. Shohimardon Valley on the northern slope of the Alai Range is the most famous resort. There is soft, clean, healthy air there. Coastal zone of the Ko’ksu River and Blue Lake attracts with its scenery. There is the Chimyon place, known for its medicinal and mineral waters in the heart of the Oltynsu Valley in the foothills of the Alai Range.
Technologies of success
The days when the farmers used to start their business with cultivation of fruits, vegetables and livestock only have gone. The number of farms that build their work on industrial basis, acquire modern agricultural equipment, develop infrastructure for storage and processing of products is growing day by day.
The time of our visit to farms of Farghona region fell on completion of the harvest of grain crops. Farmers harvest carefully, every last grain, and immediately plant other crops. As noted by specialists of the Council of Farmers, the number of farmers who make with their own agricultural machinery has been growing over the recent years.
“This year we grow wheat on 135 hectares. We have a good harvest, so we fulfilled contractual obligations to the state, and also could encourage all staff of our farm. We have harvested grain with our own harvester by Claas Dominator. We have already planted corn instead of the harvested crop, and are planting potatoes on the remaining areas. Concurrently we cultivate the fields with melons, sunflowers, vegetables and fruits. In this hard work we use different equipment from our farm’s fleet: crawler tractors, wheeled tractors Belarus and TTZ, and a shovel for cleaning irrigation canals,” says Shavkat Saidaliev, head of the Beshbola Shavkat Sahovat farm. “We are grateful to the banks for supporting us with loans for the purchase of equipment. Availability of own agricultural machinery is a guarantee that all the works will be accomplished in time. In turn, this ensures the best use of the land and a good harvest.”
Farmers actively explore the mini-technologies for post-harvest processing. For example, the BulokAS farm is presently known not only for grain growing, horticulture, viticulture, vegetable growing, fish farming, but also for having a mini-mill and a plant for pressing vegetable oil out. Here is what Abduolim Ishbaev, head of the farm, said in this regard: \"Development of infrastructure for processing and storage is not just good, but also a profitable business. It helps preventing damage to cultivated crops. Our farm fulfills contractual obligations to the state and customers, yet we have much of the yield left. We produce flour and sunflower oil. Our neighbors often ask us to help them with processing. Mini-harvest processing technologies are very comfortable for farmers. This year we have built a refrigerator for storing fruit and vegetables. There we keep the fruits we grow in our garden.\"
Incidentally, Abdualim Ishbaev is concerned not only about processing and storage of the food produced. His farm is actively adopting science intensive technologies, both in agriculture and animal husbandry. The farmer has recently started growing sturgeon, the fish which is not typical for local waters. He is currently upgrading his own poultry farm. Previously it contained three thousand chickens. Now it is planned to increase the number to ten thousand. So the poultry farm is currently being upgraded with modern conveyor equipment.
There is a scaled construction of cutting edge industrial refrigerators in Farghona region, as well as throughout the country. As farmers say, in hot climate refrigerators are vitally needed to save the harvest for sale or processing. Refrigerators are an integral part of the infrastructure to supply market with the food all year round. A few months ago Khayrullo Bahram Baymatov farm launched a new refrigerator, designed to store up to 250 tons of the crop. Today it is one of the largest and latest industrial refrigerators in the region.
“Initially, our farm specialized in cotton and grain growing, viticulture and dairy farming,” says Isakjon Boymatov, the head of the farm. “As of this year we render services on food storage. We started receiving orders for storage right after the launch of the refrigeration unit.”
Active adoption of mini-technologies for vegetable, fruit, milk and meat processing contribute to saturating the market with domestically produced food. For example, the head of the Farghona Beck-ota farm Alisher Hamidjanov moved from trade to agriculture. A long time before he opened a farm in 2004, he was carrying sausages from Tashkent to Farghona for sale. Eventually he got enthusiastic over the idea to open his own sausage manufacture in Farghona. He approached this calculatingly.
“Calculations have shown that the manufacture of sausages is cheaper and more cost-effective than if I would fatten bulls myself. That\'s why I started with the creation of the farm. By the way, it is located in the territory of the former bankrupt cattle feeding plant,” says the farmer Alisher Hamidjanov. “I have achieved great results since the time of my start. In nine years, the area of the farm grew from two to 24.7 hectares, and the number of bulls increased from 10 to 85. We started on the used equipment, but over the recent years we have had a total upgrade with the latest equipment made in Austria.”
This way agriculture and mini-plants for food processing are gradually becoming an integral part of the infrastructure of successful farms thus contributing to filling the market with a wide range of products.
Facts and figures
3,257 farms of the region are engaged in cotton and grain growing, 3,591 - horticulture and viticulture, 362 - vegetable and melon growing, 627 – cattle breeding, and 842 are diversified farms.
Farghona region is the home for oil industry in Uzbekistan: oil extraction and processing started here more than a century ago. There are both oil mining and processing enterprises, and production of equipment for oil industry.
Euro-3 Wide range
Farghona Oil Processing Plant, the country\'s largest one, manufactures about 70 kinds of products.
The large-scale production comprises two plants. There is Oltiariq Oil Refinery, the one that was founded in 1906 and is the industry\'s first-born, and the Farghona Oil Refinery, founded in 1959. Besides, the plant merges Angren and Pap terminals for receiving, storing and shipping of oil products, and Avtonefttrans transporter.
37 processing units produce the whole range of existing oil refining products: gasoline, kerosene, diesel fuel, motor and engine oil, bitumen, coke, paraffin, petrolatum, greases of different brands, as well as consumer goods.
High quality competitive products are the plant’s unchanging mission statement. To maintain it, the company introduced quality management systems meeting international quality management standards of ISO 9001: 2008, environmental management standards ISO 14001:2005, and occupational health and safety standards OHSAS 18001:2007.
Like other enterprises, the plant keeps an eye on technical upgrade. The biggest upgrade was carried out in 1996-1999. Under the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan and with the support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Japanese EXIM Bank Japanese companies Mitsui and Tayo Engineering installed new equipment. The upgrade cost a total of more than $ 200 million. This allowed the company to fully shift to local raw materials, maintain high quality of light oil products and to manufacture a new product of sulfur.
Year after year, consumers claim increasingly high demands for petroleum products. Therefore, the Farghona Oil Refinery is constantly working on improvement of product quality. For instance, the enterprise is currently working on another upgrade project, which will enable the production of light oil products in line with Euro-3 standards and even higher.
Quqon Mechanical Plant has increased manufacture almost twenty times over the last eight years.
Founded in 1933, the plant focuses on the manufacture of equipment for oil extraction and refining. The workshops of the enterprise produce spare parts for equipment, optional equipment, tanks for filling from 5m ³ to 2,000m ³ of volume, tanks for filling under pressure of up to 10m ³. The list of products includes various metal structures, drilling rigs and foundations for them. Today, home gas cylinders make up the company’s biggest orders.
“The history of the plant has been facing much. However, since 2006, we have been confidently moving towards increasing production volumes. This is the result of our policy on production of import substituting products demanded in the domestic market,” says Sharifjon Yuldashev, director of the plant. “The plant is on the rise. Over the last few years alone we have employed 190 people, mostly young people.”
Outdated equipment in the workshops is gradually being replaced with modern computer-controlled facilities, allowing us to ease the burden of working and save the consumables.
We purchase the new equipment as the list of products requires extension,” emphasized Sharifjon Yuldashev. “Installation of rotary exhaust machine is currently underway. It will produce tanks and containers that are so far exported.”
Farghona region ranks among the country’s biggest centers for chemical industry development. JSC «Farg\'onaazot and Farghona Chemical Fiber Plant have recently merged, which had a positive impact on the development of the two enterprises. Besides, there are Farghona Chemical Plant of Furan Compounds and Quqon Superphosphate Plant in the region.
JSC «Farg\'onaazot, the flagship of national chemical Industry, is one of the companies to follow the upgrade and expansion of the product range.
The plant is a leading manufacturer of nitrogen fertilizers (granular carbamide and ammonium nitrate), and defoliants - HMD, Super HMDj, UzDef and PoliDef, which are in demand in agriculture. The plant produces much of sodium chlorate for foreign paper industry. Over the past years under the Localization Program the company has established the manufacture of condensing supplement CFS for carbamide, baking soda, furniture glue and other chemical products. After incorporation of the fiber plant the enterprise established the manufacture of artificial fiber, which is the acetate silk for production of velvet.
Farg\'onaazot is justly considered as one of the most automated enterprises of chemical industry. Production upgrade is on a regular basis there. Adham Azlarov, a production manager, details on the ongoing work.
“In 2002, we installed new equipment for the production of magnesium chlorate defoliant and sodium chlorate. Today, we apply the latest French technology on this site. In 2003, in collaboration with Czech partners we completed the construction of a new shop for manufacture of nitric acid and ammonium nitrate. In 2009-2010, we carried out a scaled reconstruction of ammonia shop. As a result we reduced production costs.
The company is currently elaborating a project of large-scale reconstruction of the air separation shop and a complex of mineral fertilizers manufacture.
With Worldwide Reputation
Textile and light industry has been the leading sector of Farghona region\'s economy for many years. Foreign investment contributed to the upgrade of existing facilities and building of new production sites. Most companies expand and increase their production capacities.
The work on completion of construction of the second spinning mill at Indorama Kokand Textile Uzbek-Singapore JV is in full swing.
The construction of the enterprise on manufacture of yarn is the first project in Uzbekistan of Singaporean Indorama Industry, which has production facilities in 22 countries around the world. The project is carried out in cooperation with the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan. Indorama Industry, which is a globally known leader in manufacture of polyester in textile and light industry, started its business in Uzbekistan with the manufacture of cotton yarn.
“The launch of the first phase of our spinning mill, which is designed for processing of nine thousand tons of cotton fiber per year, took place in 2011. We work on the latest robotized conveyor equipment by Riter, Luer, Mirato, Toyota, which manufactures a very high quality yarn of 20 - 65 sizes,” notes Ravshan Tadjiev, Director of Indorama Kokand Textile JV. “The construction of the second phase is currently coming to an end. The new production facilities will be equipped with the similar equipment. As a result, we will be able to process up to 20 thousand tons of cotton a year.”
To date Indorama Kokand Textile has managed to win its place in the world market of cotton yarn. The list of customers includes textile mills in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Colombia, as well as textile and light industry enterprises in Europe and Asia. The demand for domestic products is very high, so the second phase would help to satisfy it to a larger extent.
According Ravshan Tadjiev, there are several follow up projects on the further development of the enterprise. He promised to tell about them once they are approved and implemented.
Expansion is also expected at Orshah Textile JV in Marghilon. It will strive to increase scope and expansion of the product range.
The factory was founded on the basis of low-margin production with full replacement of equipment and facilities, and reorientation to the manufacture of competitive products.
Today, the hosiery manufacture is the main activity of the factory. It produces the export-oriented output out of cotton yarn on the cutting edge Italian equipment, which is almost entirely exported to the Russian market.
Meanwhile, it is scheduled to extend another production site as well. According to the company’s chief specialist Fatih Autep, they plan to develop the garment manufacture.
“Our factory has established itself as a big manufacturer of specialized uniform. Large enterprises in the country are our regular customers. The sewing shop is equipped with modern sewing equipment. Once we complete the construction of the new production building in 2015, we schedule to launch the manufacture of fashionable jeans. We are currently elaborating the issues of purchasing some additional equipment.
Almost every district of the region runs manufactures of construction materials. Quvasoy is the largest center of the sector. It is here, where one of the Central Asia’s biggest glass factories operates along with the plants for cement, reinforced concrete and bricks.
The manufacture of glass has increased in the first half of 2013. The commercial products manufactured at JSC Quartz in this period are estimated at 54.5 billion soums at current prices, which is 134.4% of the same period last year.
The manufacture of glassware in its natural form is: empties - 198.2 mln. pieces, or 127.9% of the last year’s amount, polished glass - 6.3 million square meters, or 161.8% of the last year’s amount. The company\'s products is demanded not only in domestic market, but it is also exported to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
Brief history of success of JSC Quartz can be described as follows: the company has grown from a small factory to one of the largest enterprises. In 1975, the factory was established as one of the leading suppliers of local and Central Asian canneries with empties. Today, along with glass jars and bottles the company produces float glass and stained glass, as well as glass for the automotive industry.
“Our key objective is to provide quality products meeting the world standards. For that we introduced a quality management system that conforms to ISO 9001. It was first certified in 2005,” said Abdumannop Umarov, the Board Director of Quartz. “By the way, in the same year we won the competition Top Company of Uzbekistan.\"
Much attention is paid to the plant expansion of the list of products and upgrades. For example, a workshop for float glass manufacture was launched in 1996. The manufacture is based on the method of formation of the glass tape on melted metal. After the upgrade in 2002 by the Italian company Techint the volume of output has significantly increased. Depending on the order, the thickness of the glass can vary from 2 to 10 mm. Quvasoy glass is perfect for glass frames, stained glass, furniture. Tempered glass for transport is a separate direction.
Modernization did not miss a workshop on the manufacture of glass containers, one of the oldest shops of the plant. A new line was launched in this unit in 2005. Today, the equipment of Emchart produces more than 130 kinds of green, blue and clear glass bottles with the volume of 200 – 1,000 cubic centimeters.
“In our work we try to find an individual approach to each customer,” said Abdumannop Umarov. “Our technical capacity can satisfy the wish of any customer.”
Machine building is one of the newest branches Farghona’s economy. It was pushed by the boosting automobile industry in the neighboring Andijon. Today JSC Eurasia TAPO-Disk manufactures forged wheels, Uz-DongYang-Farghona Ltd. - plastic parts for the interior of Nexia, Avtooyna and Farghona Autoglass LLC - car windows, FERAE - metal components for Nexia, Matiz, Damas.
Millions of Wheels
Exactly this number of forged wheels is annually produced by Eurasia TAPO-Disk JV, which marks its 15th anniversary this year.
GM-Uzbekistan is the major customer of the Uzbek-Swiss joint venture. More than 50% of the manufactured goods go to shops of this machine building plant. Today, Eurasia TAPO-Disk produces rims of 60 articles ranging from 12 to 16 inches in size, which perfectly fit both domestic and foreign cars. This makes it competitive not only in domestic market but also in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and other countries. The flagship of the domestic industry exports more than 25% of its production.
Bakhtiar Bazarov, director of the company, arranged a tour to workshops specially for Uzbekistan Today reporters.
“Our team employs 480 people, more than half of employees is under 35. The workshops are operated by the latest equipment of Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Russian and American brands. There is much enthusiasm, a great potential, so we do not stand still and constantly expand the product range, which we manufacture under strict compliance with the international standard ISO 9001 and TSh: 16949, just like the wheel rims. All we need is an order; the other part goes on as usual. Engineers prepare drawings of parts, programmers create programs for the computer-controlled equipment, then the forging equipment is prepared, and the manufacture starts.
In recent years, in addition to wheel rims, we have developed the manufacture of more than 10 kinds of forged parts for the production of cars. They are ordered by the enterprises dealing with the manufacture of modular components for GM-Uzbekistan.
We are proud of our accessories shop. Without it, we would have had to export mold shapes, which we need greatly in our production, so they would cost us roughly twice as expensive. With the shop we have molds for the manufacture of any details in the right quantity.
Most importantly, we have a strict quality control. The enterprise runs a testing laboratory as accredited by O’zstandard Agency. It not just monitors the quality of the products, but also provides services of testing wheel products to all customers.
Farghona is attractive to tourists for its health resorts, architectural monuments and hospitality. Along with that, each of its 1,227 settlement is getting more comfortable for residents. The region has an extensive network of cultural, educational, healthcare and public services.
“People attend theaters, museums, libraries, and popular cultural events more often. This is obviously the result of development of the social infrastructure of the city, and the great attention to cultural institutions,” noted Malokhat Toirova, an actress at Farghona Regional National Music and Drama Theatre. - Regional Russian Drama Theater and Puppet Theater, as well as Quqon Musical Drama Theater are under reconstruction. Our theater hosts Tashkent theaters with their performances, we stage joint productions.”
Towns and villages now offer more place for walking and outdoor activities. For example, a musical fountain has been recently built in Farghona near the College of Olympic Reserve. Today it is one of the favorite places of the townspeople. Often, the fountain squares turns into grounds for concerts of amateur actors. A square adjacent to architectural monument of the Khudoyarkhan Palace was landscaped in Quqon. This is another popular place of local residents.
The scope of services provided by beauty salons, domestic enterprises, public utilities and other business entities is growing as the result of active housing construction in urban and rural areas. For example, thirty residential areas comprising 850 comfortable houses with electricity, water and gas supply and a landline are being built this year in rural areas. Each of them has a hairdressing salon, a sewing shop, stores, and other institutions of social infrastructure.
From time immemorial towns of Farghona Valley were the centers of enlightenment. However, the educational system reached its blossom, perhaps, only in the years of independence. 921 schools, 12 academic lyceums and 144 vocational colleges have built a sound system in the region, which enables each boy and girl to get a profession in demand in the labor market. This contributes to employment. The work on the upgrade of educational institutions is carried out on the permanent basis. The budget allocated over 12 billion soums for these purposes this year. These funds will be used to strengthen the logistical base of 24 general schools and 11 secondary vocational education institutions. Enhancement of logistical base of children\'s music and art schools, Barkamol Avlod children\'s creativity centers, youth sports schools creates more opportunities for comprehensive development of young people.
“Last year our school was renovated, so today we have two modern buildings with new musical instruments and other facilities,” says Nigora Baratova, the director of a children\'s school of music and art in Farghona. “We have an eventful program for the summer holidays. Together with children musicians we hold concerts at schoolyards of children\'s health camps. Our young sculptors are busy with landscaping their school yards.
Popular wisdom says: “A healthy body bears a healthy mind’. It is worth to note that residents of Farghona are not just proud of their champions like the weightlifter Marina Sysoeva, but they increasingly get involved in sports themselves. One does not have to go far: about 800 sports grounds with good lighting, a freedom for amateur football, tennis and other sports games have been built over the last few years in residential areas.
The region has a developed system of healthcare facilities: 293 rural health centers and 159 polyclinics and hospitals. Equipped with new high-tech medical equipment they introduce new, highly effective methods of diagnosis and treatment.
Big enterprises take care about welfare, recreation, and cultural life of residents of Farghona. Neftchi Palace of Culture of Farghona Oil Refinery runs several circles, and the sports complex Neftchi offers 19 sports clubs. A health resort complex and children’s summer camp operate under the plant too. There is a wellness center at JSC Quartz too. Last year it was overhauled. In general, today almost all the major companies of the region carry out large-scale social programs aimed at improving health of their employees and their families.
14 museums of the region play an important educational role. We visited Farghona Museum of Regional History, one of the best natural history museums in the country. The museum stock numbers more than nine thousand artifacts found during archaeological excavations. The contemporary history is drawn by the artifacts collected during ethnographic expeditions, as well as by photographs and documents that reflect the life of the inhabitants of the Farghona Valley in the second half of the 19th century to the present day.
“We pay much attention to updating the permanent exhibition with the materials demonstrating the latest progress of our region,” noted Bahodir Hoshimov, the director of the museum. “We are getting prepared to upgrade the diorama on agriculture, to reflect the new machinery used in the agricultural sector. There is much work ahead to replenish the exposition with the materials evidencing of the large-scale reconstruction of our towns.”
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)