Thursday, 29, September, 2022

Uzbekistan and India held talks on enhancing cooperation in the agricultural sector. The meeting took place in New Delhi on July 28 as part of a visit by a government delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Jamshid Khodjaev, the MIFT press service reported.

The Deputy Prime Minister held talks with Indian Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar. The parties agreed to increase the volume of the two-way trade, facilitate mutual access of products of national agricultural producers to the markets of the two countries.

Uzbekistan has granted phytosanitary permits for the import of six Indian commodities, including bananas, mangoes, soybeans and rice. In turn, the Indian side is considering the possibility of granting permits for Uzbek grapes, pomegranates, apples, persimmons, chili peppers, tomatoes, almonds and watermelon.

The Ministry of Agriculture of India reported that it had decided to provide access to the market for grapes, plums and cherries from Uzbekistan. Narendra Singh also called on the Uzbek side to expedite obtaining permit to import pomegranate, potatoes, papaya and wheat.

In addition, Jamshid Khodjaev reportedly said that India had good experience in agriculture, which Uzbekistan would like to know about, including support for farmers. “Like India, we want to reform the agriculture in Uzbekistan, for which we want to learn from India,” the Indian department quoted him as saying.

In this regard, the Deputy Prime Minister turned to the Indian Institutes of Agricultural Research with a request to transfer research and development ideas to Uzbekistan. He also praised the growing trend of digitalization of agriculture in India and called for a similar digitalization in Uzbekistan along with Indian companies.

The MIFT chief also praised India's state-run Minimum Support Price (MSP) system, a government-set price for agricultural products to be purchased directly from the farmer. This measure was taken to guarantee a minimum profit per crop, even if the market price is less than the costs incurred.

During the talks, issues of investment plans of individual agricultural companies were discussed. So, now the Indian Indo Organics, through direct investment, intends to launch the production and processing of agricultural products in the Namangan region of Uzbekistan.

According to the State Statistics Committee, in 2021, the trade between Uzbekistan and India increased by 10.3% and amounted to $490 million, of which $461 million is accounted for by Indian exports.

At the beginning of the year, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, speaking at the India-Central Asia summit, proposed to promote joint projects for the production of pharmaceutical products, launch the training of virologists and develop a cooperation program for the introduction of digital innovations, fin-tech and blockchain technologies. He also announced the start of the development of a transport corridor through the port of Chabahar, which will provide communication between Uzbekistan and India.

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