First pasta made from climate-resilient and water-saving durum wheat varieties launched by Innovation Group in Kashkadarya
November 23, 2023
A significant achievement in agricultural innovation took place in the Kashkadarya region through opening of a new pasta production mini factory. This significant endeavor is a part of development of climate-resilient durum wheat varieties, organized by the Innovation Group, under the guidance of the Southern Agricultural Scientific-Research Institute. This venture is a part of the UNDP project "Supporting an inclusive transition to a green economy in the Agri-food sector and development of a climate-smart Uzbek Agriculture Knowledge and Innovation System" (EU-AGRIN), funded by the European Union and implemented jointly with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Distinguished guests at the ceremony included the Governor of Kashkadarya region, Murotjon Azimov, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Alisher Shukurov, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, Wim Riepma, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, Anas Qarman, representatives of the Southern Agricultural Scientific-Research Institute, local farmers, and community members.
During the event, the Governor of Kashkadarya region, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Uzbekistan highlighted the significance of climate-resilient crops and the challenges posed by climate change in the agriculture sector.
Wim Riepma, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, stressed the importance of innovation groups, stating:
"Agriculture is vital for Uzbekistan, and the EU is fully committed to its support. Durum wheat, essential for pasta, bread, and traditional foods, faces growing global demand, presenting a challenge amidst climate change. Much of its production occurs in semi-arid regions, where climate extremes like drought and heat stress are increasing threats. Current data suggests that only 13% of global arable land is climatically suitable for rainfed durum wheat cultivation, a figure expected to decrease by 48% by century's end. We congratulate the efforts of the Innovation Groups in introducing climate-resilient wheat varieties. We are proud to support the EU-AGRIN project, which is delivering tangible benefits to the people of Uzbekistan."
Anas Qarman, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, highlighted the key aspects of Innovation Partnership stating:
“The Innovation Group for New Durum Wheat Varieties and Pasta Production aims to produce quality hard wheat varieties, with increased resilience to heat, drought, diseases, and pests. Led by the Southern Agricultural Scientific-Research Institute, this initiative sets a pioneering example for advancing durum wheat development in Uzbekistan. The group will produce high-quality pasta from 100 tons of crops cultivated through this project, using provided equipment, and make these products available in local markets. This effort is part of UNDP's new Innovation Partnership model in Uzbekistan, supported by generous funding from the European Union and close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture. The key feature of the Innovation partnership is collaboration of diverse stakeholders, as farmers, researchers, businesses, and NGOs, to address specific challenges and develop cutting-edge climate smart solutions in agriculture”
The Innovation Groups, led by the Southern Agricultural Scientific-Research Institute, will work alongside the Agricultural Advisory Services Center (AKIS) in Kashkadarya and local farms. These groups aim to introduce innovations that benefit farmers, food producers, improve rural livelihoods, and create new business opportunities within their value chains. By developing heat-, drought-, disease-, and pest-resistant durum wheat varieties, these initiatives will contribute to domestic pasta and confectionery production, reducing the need for imports.
The EU-AGRIN project, funded by the European Union generously provided the necessary equipment for the pasta mini-factory, including a fully automatic pasta production line, a spiral model mixer, and an electric oven.