NEWS AND EVENTS
August 19, 2014
Export of farm produce from the Republic of Uzbekistan
The Republic of Uzbekistan enjoys a tremendous agricultural potential. Its volumes of farm produce tend to swell year in, year out. The country\'s processed agricultural output is much in demand abroad. Rich in vitamins and mineral elements, Uzbek fruit and vegetables are sold there at a high price. Novel methods of sensory agricultural technology are used far and wide to raise the level of crop yield and to cut the prime cost of agricultural production.
Indeed, the unique soil and climatic conditions of Uzbekistan, including some 320 sunny days a year and a consecutive change of all four seasons, create a highly favorable environment for the cultivation of major varieties of quality fruit and vegetables. The most distinctive peculiarity of the Republic\'s agricultural season is that it starts at the beginning of March, when early greens ripen in natural conditions, and lasts until the beginning of December, when late varieties of grapes, melons, persimmons and quinces are delivered to the market. All this makes Uzbekistan a reliable base for the stable, practically all-the-year-round supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, melons and gourds. Over the decades of its independent development the national economy was cardinally transformed, with the agricultural sector being diversified almost completely. As a consequence, the country\'s population is now plentifully provided with the major crops.
Moreover, Uzbekistan successfully exports its farm produce to many foreign countries. In a relatively short period of time, many Uzbek regions and provinces have become profitable producers and exporters of those varieties of fruit and vegetables, which are generally sought after abroad. Today, the Republic boasts several zones of intensive high-yielding gardening, outfitted with efficient drop-irrigation systems. A vine-growing development program, passed last year, stipulates a 1.3-fold increase in areas of vine yarns. According to latest data, Uzbekistan exports foodstuffs, in the first instance, farm produce, to the tune of about US $5 billion. It is necessary to point out in this connection that over the past 3 years, the exports volumes of farm produce have grown more than 3 times as much. For the time being, some 16 million tons of fruit and vegetables are cultivated domestically each year.
However, Uzbekistan should continue taking steps to minimize harvesting losses of fruit, vegetables and grapes, especially on the way from the field to the consumer. As well as that, efforts must be made to develop a network of storehouses, refrigerators and logistics facilities. Another problem to be tackled as quickly as possible is to cut transport expenses.
The Republic\'s leading suppliers actively participate in international exhibitions and specialized fairs. They export more than 180 sorts of fresh and processed farm produce to 80 countries. Uzbekistan is one of the world\'s ten top suppliers of apricots, plums, grapes, nuts, cabbage and other species of fruit and vegetables.
It is appropriate to mention here that the bulk of fruit and vegetables grown domestically is consumed in the canned, processed or dried form, when they lose a lion\'s share of their consumer characteristics, as well as their gustatory and wholesome features from the medical point of view.
To remedy the situation, a working, group of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan regularly considers issues that surround the efficient consumption in the home market of fresh fruit, vegetables, potatoes, melons and gourds and grapes and the organization of their export from the country. A special document passed by the working group approves the export prices for locally grown farm produce, which are determined on the basis of upper levels of its wholesale prices in indigenous consumer markets. In keeping with the legislation currently in effect, farmers exporting farm produce should present documents to confirm the fact that the agricultural: output they export has been grown by them. Otherwise, they should sell 50 per cent of their currency receipts to the bank. In a bid to prevent the unsubstantiated stay of farm produce at customs posts during the mass ripening season, measures are taken to enlist cooperation of a greater number of cynologists. What\'s more, allowing for the fact that fresh fruit and vegetables fall into the category of perishables, the loaded freight cars, mechanized train sections and other means of motor transport should be registered with customs authorities within one day. Contracts for, transportation of farm produce, which lack certain bank information confirming the pre-payment of currency funds for its exportation, are not subject to customs registration. Besides, during the mass harvest season employees at currency-operations control divisions of banks will be on duty on Saturday and Sunday. To ensure that mutual settlement operations between exporters and producers of perishables are performed in proper time, their servicing banks should be ready to provide them with credit facilities and cash they may need in a given period.
The farm produce will be exported only after the receipt of currency funds as pre-payment or the payment by a letter of credit. Enterprises-exporters, which neither infringe the banking legislation nor have any unsubstantiated outstanding debtor\'s arrears under import contracts, will be rendered assistance in carrying out pre-payment to foreign partners for contracts to import socially-significant goods to the Republic\'s home market.
In 2013, production of agricultural goods in Uzbekistan has increased by 6.8 per cent. The steps taken to diversify the structure of exports and to support indigenous exporters in every possible way, plus their active penetration into new foreign markets have resulted in a 10.9 per cent rise in exports volumes, with the positive balance of foreign trade turnover exceeding US $1.3 billion. Encouraging the development of small business and private entrepreneurship has led to an increase of their share of GDP, from 54.6 per cent in 2012 to 55.8 per cent last year. Some 970,000 new jobs, of which 60.3 per cent is in rural areas, were created in Uzbekistan within the framework of employment programs. In the first quarter of 2014, the volume of farm produce grown in the country has swelled by 6.2 per cent.
In spite of the successes scored in this field, the Republic lacks the entire spectrum of infrastructural facilities, resources, possibilities and modern technologies such as shock freezing, storage in a neutral gas medium etc. needed to preserve fresh farm produce, to ensure that its prices remain stable and predictable, to diminish the dependence on certain seasonal factors and so on.
At the present time, large-scale work is under way in a given field. Uzbekistan has built and completely reconstructed 274 modern refrigerating chambers and storehouses for fresh fruit and vegetables, whose total storage capacity exceeds 190,000 tons.
In 2010, modern storage facilities were put into service in the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone, which are capable of storing in a neutral gas medium over 3,000 tons of fresh farm produce. The reliably preserved fruit and vegetables are then transported by air to the markets of Europe and Asia. The successful implementation of this task is strongly helped by the activity carried out by an intermodal logistics center created in the Republic, which includes Navoi International Airport, operated by Korean Air, one of the world\'s biggest air freightage companies.
More than 1,300 storage facilities function in Uzbekistan these days. Each year over 630,000 tons of major varieties of fresh fruit and vegetables are stored there, thus ensuring that prices for farm produce are stable in the home market and that its uninterrupted exportation is guaranteed in winter and spring.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)