On January 23, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on the support for the cotton industry.
At present cotton-textile clusters have invested $5 billion 300 million in the sector, they have been allocated $3 billion of preferential loans. The clusters have launched 265 projects worth $4 billion and created 300,000 new jobs. As a result, cotton yields have risen by 30 %, from 26 to 34 centners per hectare.
At the same time, there are problems on the ground that hinder the activities of clusters and farmers. They include the debt default and penalties due to non-payment of value-added tax on time.
7,000 farmers have to irrigate cotton fields with pumps. The deadline for signing futures contracts has not been identified and there is no transparent system of contract registration.
These and other problems in the sphere were discussed at the meeting and necessary measures to solve them were identified.
In particular, it was noted that the 50% of the electricity costs, consumed for irrigation of cotton fields with pumps, would be reimbursed.
Last year the price of mineral fertilizers in the domestic market rose by 50%, which caused their shortage. In this regard, it was proposed to extend the customs privileges for mineral fertilizers for another 3 years.
The responsible officials have been instructed to streamline contracts and regulate mutual settlements among clusters and farmers, to coordinate the cultivation of cotton and grain. It was determined that penalties, accrued to farmers for non-payment of VAT in due time, as an exception, will be written off.
A task has been set to establish registration of futures contracts in the electronic information system of the tax authorities and integrate it with the information system «Agroplatform» of the Ministry of Agriculture. From now on, the average monthly futures quotations of the New York Stock Exchange will be published on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture.
The need to localize high-yielding and non-water-demanding cotton varieties used abroad was emphasized, intensifying the efforts of scientific institutions in the field of cotton growing.
The challenges facing agriculture in the current year have also been touched on the meeting.
In particular, the plans to launch 600 projects worth $ 400 million, to create additional 185 thousand tons of storage and processing facilities, as well as agro-service centers in 33 districts were noted. It is planned to introduce water-saving technologies on 300 thousand hectares and laser leveling on 200 thousand hectares.
The silk industry produces goods worth over 3 trillion Uzbek soums and exports goods worth almost $110 million. However, the potential of the industry is not exhausted. In this regard, the Committee on the Development of Silk Production and Wool Industry was tasked to ensure procurement of 26 thousand tons of cocoons, 1.3 million pieces of Karakul leather and 40 thousand tons of wool this year.
The plan is to distribute 100 thousand hectares of cultivated land and provide employment for more than 2 million people. The importance of these measures for supplying major food products and ensuring price stability in the markets was emphasized.
In addition, our country has a great need for specialists of high and middle levels in food industry. In this regard, a proposal to create a new institute to train such personnel based on the experience of foreign countries was approved.