On April 18, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a meeting to discuss projects implemented in agriculture and pharmaceuticals, as well as tasks for the future.
Four main problems in water management were analyzed – water losses in canals, the high energy consumption of pumping stations, limited water reserves and insufficient implementation of water-saving technologies.
In particular, due to the low efficiency of canals and large losses of water in internal networks, agriculture receives less than $4.8 billion a year.
In this regard, it is planned, as an experiment, to introduce a pipeline irrigation system in Pakhtakor district of Jizzakh Region.
The President, having listened to the proposals of the initiator of this project, supported the initiative and noted the need for similar work in Kashkadarya, Namangan, Syrdarya regions, where the cost of water supply is the highest.
It was instructed to take measures to reduce costs as part of the project, using a scientific approach, to develop a two-year program for the introduction of a pipeline irrigation system.
Water is delivered to remote fields using pumping stations. Most of them are outdated and consume a lot of energy. Not a single large pumping station has yet been converted to alternative energy sources. Many entrepreneurs are interested in this, but their promising projects are not being implemented, as there are no clear conditions. As a result, a lot of money from the budget is spent on powering the pumps.
In this regard, the instructions were given on the transfer of pumping stations to entrepreneurs on a private partnership basis and the introduction of alternative energy sources. The scientists from the Tashkent Irrigation Institute will be involved in this, the effective projects will receive loans on favorable terms.
In conditions of water shortage in the region, 1 billion cubic meters of mudflows flow away in vain every year.
The President noted the possibility of accumulating mudflows in small reservoirs, and the need for supporting initiatives in this direction.
$100 million will be raised for relevant projects. The land put into circulation as a result of irrigation with accumulated water will be provided to entrepreneurs who have created reservoirs for free use for a long time.
Currently, 450 thousand hectares or 15 % of irrigated areas have been leveled by laser technologies. If such land is doubled, another 900 million cubic meters of water will be saved, and the water supply will be improved by an additional 200,000 hectares.
In this regard, it was determined that a thousand laser levels will be delivered this year, the clusters will establish laser leveling services for farmers.
In recent years, drip and sprinkler irrigation technologies have been introduced on 400,000 hectares. This year, work has begun on another 80,000 hectares.
The amount of subsidies for each hectare of grain and vegetable fields where a water-saving system has been introduced has been increased from 1 million Uzbek soums to 8 million Uzbek soums to further stimulate the introduction of these technologies, by the resolution signed on April 1. The bank loan rate for farmers was set at 17%.
The importance of bringing these opportunities to farmers and providing them with financial support was noted. The task was set to create a separate center for the formation of new water-saving projects at Agrobank and to attract qualified specialists from abroad.
Projects in the pharmaceutical industry were also considered at the meeting.
Over the past six years, 177 projects worth $527 million have been launched in this area. Foreign investments have increased by 9 times, and 35 enterprises have implemented the international GMP standard. As a result, the production increased 3 times, exports – 5 times.
However, due to many problems related to finding a market, quality and competition, the volume of production decreased slightly last year, while imports increased.
In this regard, the issues of developing additional projects in pharmaceuticals and enterprise support were discussed at the meeting.
It was noted that it is planned to implement 207 projects worth $725 million. 68 of them are scheduled to be launched this year.
Uzbek President noted the need for easing the credit burden on entrepreneurs. The entry of Asakabank into the projects as an investor with a participation share of up to 25 % was defined. Long-term credit resources for $300 million will be attracted to finance localization projects and provide working capital. Pharmaceutical Projects Center will open at the bank to help entrepreneurs.
The possibility of mastering the production of 400 types of new products and replacing imports for $670 million by supporting enterprises that do not operate at full capacity was noted. For this, revolving loans up to $1 million for 18 months will be provided to enterprises, and loans up to $2 million secured by revenue insurance will be provided to exporters.
The possibility of production in Uzbekistan of medicines and substances necessary in oncology and oncohematology based on foreign technology was considered. The task was set to expand the number of enterprises that meet the requirements of the GMP standard.
An instruction was given to speed up the implementation of projects in Tashkent Pharmaceutical Cluster.