Women students promote innovation and green transition in agriculture with help of the European Union and UNDP

March 3, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The contest contributed to the celebrations of the International Women's Day and was attended by the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Aziz Voitov, the Ambassador of the European Union to Uzbekistan, Ms. Charlotte Adriaen, the UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan Ms. Matilda Dimovska and the Head of the Association "Women of the Agricultural Sector of Uzbekistan" Ms. Adiba Ahmadjonova.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The competition aimed to support the gender equality policy in Uzbekistan, and to encourage women students who are getting excellent knowledge and skills in their specialty to transform into the modern and talented, highly qualified, and knowledgeable women specialists in agriculture. 

Ms. Charlotte Adriaen, the Ambassador of the European Union to Uzbekistan said: 

“It is great to see talented women students competing with innovative ideas in agriculture to address the impacts of climate change and environmental resilience, and to drive the rural development creating more economic opportunities for the resource-poor, including rural women and youth. Today, climate change is the most important topic of our global policy agenda. Climate resilience and women empowerment can also be supported through innovative digital solutions. The EU is strongly committed to the digital partnership with Uzbekistan and through its digital strategy seeks to ensure women’s equal access to the untapped potential of digital technologies reaching out to the rural and remote areas.”

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

In her turn, Ms. Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative noted that

“Agriculture is one of the sectors that are most sensitive to climate change, dependent on water availability, soil characteristics, weather patterns and biodiversity. Highly qualified specialists play an important role in the development of agriculture sector. Thus, supporting women studying agricultural science is fundamental to strengthening gender equality and increasing the role of women and girls in ensuring the food security of Uzbekistan. Underpinning innovation is the country’s ability to generate new knowledge, tools, and technologies through research and their application and use to meet current and future needs in the sector. Now it is more important than ever to empower women farmers to ensure resilience to climate change and food security”.

A total of 2,703 women students from seven faculties were involved in the selection stages of the competition, and 49 of them were selected for the semifinals. Each competition consists of four conditions, in which students demonstrated their skills, creativity, unique talents, and examples of handiwork. They demonstrated their knowledge and capacity in their specialty by answering quick questions on climate change and green economy. In the context of "Prospective Project Ideas", they presented the ideas related to adaptation to climate change, green transition and innovative approaches in agriculture.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The final stage provides a platform for these students to compete: Madina Sadullayeva from "Preservation and Processing of Agricultural Products", Shokhsanam Mirzahamdamova from "Plant Protection, Agrochemistry, and Soil Science", Sarvinoz Anvarova from "Agrologistics and Business", Mumtozbegim Ochilova from "Zoo engineering", Muazzam Siddiqjonova from "Agrobiology", Lobar Otakhonova from  "Fruit-vegetable and Viticulture" and Shakhzoda Tokhtaeva from the faculty of "Forestry and Landscape Design".

“We closely cooperate with "EU-AGRIN" project run by UNDP and funded by the EU. Soon with the help of the project, we will launch an innovative group aimed at creating an additional value chain in milk processing and improving the well-being of the population. This integration of science and production will initiate innovative dairy farm for women farmers in Ohangaron and Zangiota districts of Tashkent region. It will help to mitigate the impact of climate change on livestock and industrial areas in rural areas. I hope that today's girls will engage with the innovative groups and their creative ideas will find realization in other directions"

- said Adiba Akhmadjonova, Head of the "Agrarian Sector Women of Uzbekistan" association.

At the end of the event, the 3 winners of the final stage and the other 4 semifinalists were awarded valuable gifts for the competition by the organizers.