Uzbekistan plans to phase out state control of agricultural sector

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TASHKENT (TCA) — The government of Uzbekistan is planning to switch to market pricing for agricultural products, including for cotton and grain, in the coming years, according to the draft law on the Strategy for the Development of Agriculture for 2020-2030, Xinhua news agency reported.

The document, posted on the government web portal for public discussion on September 15, provides for a plan for phasing out the state control of the production, sale and processing of cotton and wheat, as well as promoting the diversification of all agricultural production.

The long-term goal of the strategy is to develop a competitive, domestic and foreign market oriented agricultural and food sector that will increase the income of agricultural producers, create new jobs and ensure food security and rational use of natural resources, the document said.

Agriculture is the leading sector of Uzbek economy, employing 3.6 million people and accounting for 32 percent of the country’s GDP.

At the government meeting on September 6 to discuss priority tasks of the country’s agricultural development in 2020-2030, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev set the task to bring the transformation in the agricultural sector to a new level. To this end, an agricultural development strategy for 2020-2030 is being elaborated, designed to make the sector the main point of growth, a driver of economic advancement, the president’s official website reported.

The president spoke for the need for a complete update of the legislation to ensure transparency of the land allocation system, the inviolability of land, and guaranteed protection of land rights.

In 2018, a total of $2.3 billion worth of agricultural products were exported by Uzbekistan. As a result of the implementation of the new strategy, it is expected to bring the figure to $20 billion by 2030.

Sergey Kwan

TCA