President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a videoconference meeting on November 13 to discuss the development of livestock, poultry, fish farming and sericulture.
Earlier, with his 23 October 2019 decree, the head of our state had approved the 2020-2030 Strategy for Agricultural Development in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The document galvanized the modernization of the agrarian sector with the application of modern approaches. In addition, on November 7, the President signed a resolution envisaging the accelerated development of livestock industries in Karakalpakstan.
“Unfortunate as it is, we cannot say that there exists an effective system that ensures abundance of meat, milk and eggs in our markets, price stability, increased income – by placing crops, selecting livestock breeds, creating a value chain, properly using the potential of the regions,” said the President opening the meeting.
The need for livestock feed in our country is 120 million tons, but 47 million tons were produced last year, that is, demand is met by only 40 percent.
Around the world, silage and combination feed are used for cattle fattening. In Yangiyul district, an intensive variety of corn was grown as a second crop, with the production of 50-60 tons of silage, the cost of 1 kilogram of which amounted to only 150 soums. A kilogram of husk is on the market for more than 2 thousand soums. This means that livestock farmers themselves are able to grow feed 10 times cheaper than meal and husk.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev pointed to the fact that on the ground, rather than taking measures to cover the feed deficit, the land allocated for fodder crops is hardly used efficiently and for other purposes, and despite the fact that up to 100 centners of feed wheat can be cultivated on one hectare.
“How can one explain that 16 thousand hectares in Syrdarya, 8.5 thousand hectares in the Tashkent region are not used after harvesting grain?” wondered the President.
Over the past 10 months of this year, cattle of meat breeds worth $ 100 million were brought from abroad. In this regard, the head of our state urged the executives to allocate land to livestock breeders and properly distribute crops to boost food supply.
The President pointed to similar problems in poultry farming. For example, 70-75 percent of the feed demand of the industry are met by imports; for 10 months of this year, 160 thousand tons of soybean and sunflower meal for $ 80 million, and 80 thousand tons of corn for $ 14 million were imported. This year, only 5 thousand hectares of land were assigned to industry enterprises for fodder storage instead of the projected 137 thousand hectares.
Improvement of the breed remains one of the pressing issues in animal husbandry.
According to specialists, local cattle of meat breed at the cost of 20 thousand soums for their fattening gains 900 grams of live weight (500 grams of meat) a day, whereas thoroughbred species gain 1.6 kilograms of live weight (900 grams of meat).
Currently, 94 percent of cattle, 84 percent of sheep and goats, 58 percent of poultry is husbanded in households. In the total number of livestock, thoroughbred species account for as low as 34 percent. The figure for Syrdarya and Surkhandarya regions stands at 26 percent, for Khorezm region it is 28 percent, in Kashkadarya – 31, and 33 percent in Samarkand region.
In sheep breeding, breed improvement was achieved just among astrakhan sheep, yet accounting for only 30 percent.
In addition, one local breed cow produces no more than 2.5 tons of milk a year. And one thoroughbred, imported for 2-3 thousand dollars, instead of projected 35-40 liters, has been giving an average of 25 liters of milk due to the lack of knowledge and skills in livestock care among herders.
What we have at hand is insufficiency of specialists in the proper feeding of cattle and the delivery of modern veterinary services. Farmers are forced to attract veterinarians and zoo engineers from abroad and pay them 3-4 thousand dollars a month.
It was noted at the meeting that the lack of an established system for slaughtering livestock using standard technology leads to the production of low-quality leather, which affects the leather and footwear industry. Thus, there are 49 modern slaughterhouses throughout Uzbekistan, including one in Andijan, 2 in Namangan, Syrdarya, Surkhandarya, Ferghana regions, 3 in Khorezm. Moreover, the capacities of these slaughterhouses are only 30-40 percent on load as the population is not interested in their services.
There are enough problems in poultry, fish farming, rabbit breeding sectors, that is, those livestock industries that can produce high effects within a short time.
In particular, fish is grown today on intensive technology only on 460 hectares (1 percent) of 38 thousand hectares of artificial reservoirs. The main reason is the cost of fish cultivated in this way: it is twice as high as that of the fish fed under the traditional method. Therefore, entrepreneurs do not see prospects in intensive fish farming. Although this technique allows one to attain up to 100 tons of products from 1 hectare, while the usual method gives no more than 2-3 tons.
The President instructed to establish intensive cultivation of delicious fish species such as salmon, sturgeon, and trout. Shavkat Mirziyoyev indicated that when organizing their breeding on modern technologies in the foothills, there is great potential for exports.
At a videoconference meeting, the participants also discussed rabbit breeding issues.
The analysis shows that the livestock of a thoroughbred rabbit in natural conditions increases fourfold (6-8 rabbits), while in industrial conditions it multiplies up to sevenfold (8-10 rabbits).
However, while there are 1,250 rabbit farms in Uzbekistan, only 500 thousand rabbits are grown on an industrial basis.
For a comprehensive and systemic solution of these problems as well as the consistent development of livestock industries, the President voiced a number of tasks.
Thus, on the basis of an experiment carried out in Andijan region, a completely new system will be established in densely populated areas of the country. Assisted by loans under the “Every Family Entrepreneur” program, meat and milk processing enterprises will supply, through cooperation, up to 5 heads of pedigree cattle to the population and train the latter to care for the former. The cooperative company will ensure constant veterinary control of pure-bred cattle, its fattening in accordance with the established diet and the purchase of milk received at a market price.
The advantage of this system is that the population will receive livestock, will sell milk at the market price and pay a loan for livestock, as well as expand their household economy thanks to calves. This experience can be introduced in rabbit breeding, too.
The State Committee for Veterinary Medicine and Livestock Development, the Khalk Bank and Microcredit Bank have been instructed, together with the hokimiyats, to establish this system in the Andijan, Namangan, Samarkand, Ferghana, Khorezm regions within a month.
In addition, the President pointed out the need for organizing livestock cooperatives based on the Karakalpakstan practice. That is, building on available possibilities, family farms will be organized with a livestock of 30 to 100 heads of cattle. Cooperatives will provide these farms with food, veterinary services and agricultural technology.
This experience is interesting in that family farms do not have to look for feed and equipment as well as for customers. Cooperatives will deal with these issues.
The abovementioned organizations and hokimiyats were urged to set up at least two such livestock cooperatives in Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Jizzakh, Syrdarya, Navoi, Bukhara regions.
The necessity was emphasized of creating large farms with 2-5 thousand heads of cattle by establishing grain-growing clusters based on the experience of the Tashkent region.
Moreover, such clusters will be organized by allocation of 300-400 hectares of land for every thousand livestock to farmers who want to expand and own at least 500 livestock.
This scheme is attractive in that bulky clusters, processing grain, will produce feed, as well as silage by cultivating fodder crops on land freed from wheat as repeated crops.
A number of agencies and organizations have been tasked with considering the proposals of each applicant within a month and determining steps for their implementation.
In addition, it is necessary to effectively cash in the possibilities of cotton-growing clusters in providing livestock feed. These structures have enough land, they have a robust base of fodder, labor, technical and financial means. Therefore, it was recommended that cotton clusters organize complexes with a livestock of at least 5 thousand cattle.
In order to increase the volume of fodder procurement, it is necessary to widely introduce the Navoi practice in all regions, it was noted at the meeting.
In particular, in the Khatyrchi district, as an experiment, a project is being realized to introduce water-saving technologies in pastures of 530 hectares. Within the framework of the project, through intensive irrigation of pastures on 1 hectare, corn was grown with a green mass of 80 tons.
In Karakalpakstan, as well as Navoi, Bukhara, Kashkadarya regions there are tens of thousands of hectares of such pastures. In this regard, responsible officials have been tasked with implementing a targeted program for nurturing feed crops on pastures with an area of at least 10 thousand hectares.
Breeding is the main factor of high productivity in animal husbandry. In this regard, measures were identified to organize artificial insemination points in each region, to carry out artificial insemination of 70 percent of the cows at the disposal of the population by the end of the year, and to improve the breed of 60 percent of cattle by 2025.
The head of our state also noted the importance of training farmers and the population in the proper husbandry of cattle, along with setting up a training and practical center for livestock breeders at the Samarkand Institute of Veterinary Medicine and its Tashkent branch, and arranging practical and distance seminars.
The meeting participants also discussed issues of reducing production costs and increasing the competitiveness of the sphere.
It is envisaged that from next year, subsidies will be assigned for livestock, fish and poultry farming, which, in accordance with international practice, will be provided in proportion to the volume of finished goods produced.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev instructed to ensure close interaction among the services of veterinary medicine, quarantine, standardization, sanitation and epidemiology, as well as the implementation of control procedures for the entire chain of livestock production.
Particular attention was paid to creating conditions for manufacturers in the domestic market, ensuring price stability for animal products.
It was indicated that in 90 marketplaces in Andijan, Jizzakh, Namangan, Samarkand, Syrdarya, Ferghana and Khorezm regions there are no poultry shops. Fish-breeding enterprises have only 2 outlets in the Syrdarya markets, 3 points in Surkhandarya, 4 in Navoi, and 9 in Ferghana.
To ensure the high-quality fulfillment of the tasks set at the meeting, Friday was declared Livestock Day. A Republican Council has been formed, responsible for coordinating the execution of orders and promoting livestock breeders.
In addition to food security, the development of the silk industry was also deliberated on at the videoconference session.
Sericulture is a sector that allows to secure export-oriented products within a rather short span of time, 30-35 days. There are more than 20 countries harvesting mulberry cocoons.
Uzbekistan comes third in terms of such yield following China and India, but our country’s share in the world market is just 2.5 percent.
Thanks to measures carried out over the past two years, in particular by arranging the production of silkworm cocoons four times a year, the crop was brought up to 19 thousand tons.
The meeting participants noted the great potential of our country in this industry, as evidenced by the analysis of market conditions. Effective use of these opportunities will allow to bring annual exports up to $ 500 million in the coming years.
However, there are a number of challenges in the industry. Thus, 6 thousand hectares of mulberry plantations have degraded. Productivity on 37 thousand hectares barely reaches even 30 percent.
Highly nutritious varieties make up only 5-6 percent of mulberries. The fight against diseases and pests is not carried out in a timely manner and efficiently. As a result, the food supply is lost.
Eighty percent of the silkworm eggs is imported. Obsolete is the material and technical base of the Scientific Research Institute of Sericulture, the only institution in the country assigned with creating the super-elite variety of silkworm eggs.
Building on this, it is planned to plant 20 thousand hectares of new mulberry gardens and renew 10 thousand hectares of old ones by the end of 2022.
To this end, in the existing mulberry plantations, the population will be provided with plots of 1-3 hectares on the basis of a family contract. Silk-growing clusters will distribute mulberry seedlings for upgrading mulberries, as well as grains. Along with the proceeds from cocoon harvesting, the population will have at their disposal a yield from additional crops grown between the rows of mulberries.
The Ministry of Agriculture, the Uzbekipaksanoat (Silk Industry) Association, hokims of the regions and the heads of interested departments were urged to allot land for new mulberry plantations, update the old ones, and introduce water-saving technologies. The task was set to bring cocoon harvest to 21 thousand tons next year and up to 30 thousand tons in 2025.
It was also instructed to establish the procurement of eggs of the super-elite and elite varieties completely in Uzbekistan, to provide support for the breeding stations for this, take measures for the chemical and biological protection of the mulberries, and create new jobs.
The absence of laboratories in our country for the examination and assessment of the quality of cocoons and silk was noted. As a result, enterprises send their products abroad for examination, leading to additional costs. In this regard, the President pointed out the need to set up a modern laboratory at the Uzbekipaksanoat Association.
On the issues discussed at the meeting, responsible officials presented reports and proposals.