UNDP organized a visit of experts from the Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economic Analysis

February 6, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

This week, with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Uzbekistan hosted a visit of experts from the Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA) - a National Research Institution with general scientific competence in agriculture, agro-industry, fisheries, forestry, and economics.

CREA is the leading organization providing comprehensive support to the creation and development of agricultural operating (innovation) groups in Italy. They have created more than 600 successful innovative groups aimed at the development of agriculture in Italy.

The visit was organized in the framework of the 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 EU.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

During their visit, the CREA experts held a workshop on “Operational/Innovation Groups: An overview of EU experience”. In which they shared practical advice on creating and managing Operational Groups. Operational Groups are intended to bring together multiple actors such as farmers, researchers, advisers, businesses, environmental groups, consumer interest groups, or other NGOs to advance innovation in the agricultural and forestry sectors. The projects promote agricultural innovation that is more resource efficient, productive, low emission, climate-friendly, and resilient, and that operates in harmony with the essential natural resources on which farming depends. These groups also accelerate the green transition in the agri-food sector through the integration of science, services, and production systems.

The seminar was attended by representatives of agricultural research institutes and their scientific and regional experimental stations, regional AKIS centers of Fergana, Kashkadarya, and Tashkent, TVETs, as well as farms, clusters, and representatives of businesses and NGOs.

In the framework of the mission agenda, the members of the Italian Council met with representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and visited leading research institutes, the Zangiata Agricultural Technology College, and the Association of "Agrarian women" of Uzbekistan where they had interesting and fruitful discussions. During the meetings, the local side shared their innovative ideas, which they planned to implement in the innovative groups being created.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Representatives of the Research Institute of Selection, Seed Production, and Agricultural Technology of Cotton Growing spoke about new high-yielding, drought-resistant varieties of cotton and the introduction of resource-saving agricultural technologies developed by the Institute's employees.

Scientists of the Scientific Research Institute of Horticulture, Viticulture, and Winemaking named after Academician Makhmud Mirzaev shared information on innovative methods of growing fruit trees and vineyards resistant to different soil conditions, employees of the Research Institute of Vegetables, Melons and Potatoes shared ideas on organizing primary seed production of promising varieties of okra and artichoke species from non-traditional vegetable crops based on resource-saving technologies.

The teachers of the Zangiota Agrotechnical College spoke about the creation of special mobile laboratories in the Tashkent region, which will provide emergency veterinary care to households with cattle, which is very important for the rural population.

Researchers from the Research Institute of Plant Protection informed about their participation in several innovative groups on cotton and fruit-vegetable growing. Ideas to increase the productivity of cows and adapt milk production to climate change in farms and households by improving feed efficiency, creating a value chain through milk processing, and implementing innovative waste management in animal husbandry were discussed during a meeting with representatives of the Association of Women in Agriculture.

The last meeting of the delegation of members of the Italian CREA Council was held at the Samarkand regional AKIS center. With representatives of AKIS and local farmers, an exchange of views took place on various aspects of cooperation between CREA and AKIS.