Promoting business ideas, improving the environment

Results of the UNDP lead Joint Programme, funded by the UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan were demonstrated in Takhtakupir district

Posted May 11, 2022

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Today I am privileged to serve the market of Takhtakupir district, deliver our soap to other communities and have orders from some neighboring villages of Kazakhstan as well”, says Arukhan Seytmuratova, the head of laundry soap production workshop, welcoming guests.

Photo: Arukhan Seytmuratova and her daughter Khurliman / UNDP Uzbekistan

My son inspired me to start our family business. He was accepted to the university, but being unemployed, I understood that it would be challenging to pay for his contract. That is how the idea of having my first market research appeared,” shares Jalgasbay Uteniyazov, who holds his own mini-bakery today. 

Photo: Jalgasbay Uteniyazov / UNDP Uzbekistan

During 2019-2021 UNDP with the financial support from the UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan implemented a Joint Programme aimed at addressing the urgent human insecurities in the Aral Sea region through promoting sustainable rural development. Today we are happy to hear the inspiring success stories and achievements of our beneficiaries that bring value not only to their families, but contribute to wellbeing of their communities, neighboring districts, and the whole region, as well.  

The official visit of a delegation of over 30 representatives of the European Union, its Member States, United Nations in Uzbekistan, and governmental institutions of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Republic of Karakalpakstan and local project areas of the UN Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan that took place on April 28-30, 2022, was rich to words of gratitude and stories of success.

On April 30, the mission representatives visited the State forestry department in Takhtakupir district where some of the pilot projects implemented with the support of the Programme were presented as a separate exhibition. As a result of the needs assessment conducted by UNDP in 2020, the State Forestry Department received 17 types of machinery and equipment to improve the work quality, increase the territories of forests, create nurseries, and contribute to the afforestation process held on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea. The afforestation resulted in more income for the workers of the Forestry Department. Besides, 12 additional workers from the local population were hired by the Forestry and trained within the Joint Programme’s capacity building workshops.

Image: Work efficiency and health of forestry personnel much improved due to improving conditions at sites, staying conditions in tents, preparing fresh food in mobile car-houses. Training was conducted for 100 employees of the forestry of innovative methods of afforestation.

Jalgasbay Uteniyazov, the head of a family-bakery under the “Uteniyazov Jalgasbay” Private Enterprise today is a successful businessperson. But going back to 2020, he says that things have not always been like that. Jalgasbay is a father of four sons and when he lost his job, he realized that it will be difficult to support his family and pay for the university of one of his sons. Having experience in providing accountancy services to bakeries, he decided to conduct market research to understand whether there was a need of another bakery in his district and apply for the Contest of business initiatives, announced by UNDP in Karakalpakstan. Jalgasbay’s business plan was accepted by the Reviewing committee and the entrepreneur received technical support to launch his business. Today Jalgasbay produces about 320 pieces of bread products. He has additionally hired three people to make his work more efficient. 

Seytmurat Davletov also was very proud of his achievements that contribute to the food security of his district. 

Photo: Seytmurat Davletov, technologist of milk processing workshop / UNDP Uzbekistan

We used to produce milk for the local market only. Then we were lucky to win a contest of business projects announced by UNDP and receive modern technologies for milk processing”, says Seytmurat. Today the milk processing workshop produces cottage cheese, cream, yogurt and other dairy products that were demonstrated to the visitors and members of the delegation. 

Arukhan Seytmuratova was among those who lost their income because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the call for keeping hands clean motivated her to open a family business on soap production. 

The pandemic encouraged to determine the choice of the occupation. When it started, we realized that laundry soap would be in high demand as it was necessary to keep hands clean, and use sanitizers”, - says Arukhan. At the moment, the daily production capacity of the "Khurliman-Aru-Takhta" workshop is over 600 units of laundry soap. Together with the head of this project Arukhan Seitmuratova, the initiative enabled employing 3 young people.

Photo: "Khurliman-Aru-Takhta" workshop produces 600 units of laundry soap every day / UNDP Uzbekistan

Ulbolsyn Annabaeva also warmly welcomed guests at her booth and demonstrated the diversity of her goods. In 2018 she received support from the Joint Programme and expanded her own "Rano Sheber" camel wool processing workshop that produces bedding, clothing, and other wool products using the most modern equipment. Moreover, during the pandemic she was focused on production of face-masks to help the residents of Takhtakupir and the Ministry of Health of Karakalpakstan. Today her workshop is famous not only in Karakalpakstan, but in neighboring countries as well.  

The most tasty and healthy exhibits were presented by Katshahan Baymurzaeva, the head of “Zulaikha-Asalshi” Beekeeping Cooperative. She said she is happy as with the support from the Programme she now helps people in her community to stay healthy and have a sweet honey on their table every day.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The official unemployment rate in the Takhtakupir district is 6.3%. At the same time, more than 32.7% of economically active people receive unstable income by performing seasonal work. As the result of the Joint Programme’s implementation 13 business-projects received technical support, over 50 jobs were created, about 120 women, youth representatives and farmers enhanced their capacities in the sphere of entrepreneurship, livestock farming, organization of the value chain in the production of feed and milk, 198 specialists were trained on tourism development in various directions. 

In its activities, the UNDP lead joint programme funded by the United Nations Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan was focused on strengthening economic security for vulnerable communities. The Programme’s initiatives were aimed at creating new conditions and opportunities for running and developing business, providing support to women and youth living in target communities.