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January 31 2018, 10:21 Trend

WB issues more funds to Uzbekistan for horticulture sector development

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved Additional Financing for Horticulture Development Project in Uzbekistan, the WB said in a message on Jan.31.

The Project will expand access to domestic and global markets and improve the productivity of Uzbekistan’s horticulture sector, with a $ 500 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Uzbekistan is implementing transformational reforms, moving from a state-driven development model to a private sector-led economy, and agriculture is playing a critical role. In 2016, agriculture accounted for 17 percent of gross domestic product, 15 percent of export revenues, and over one-third of employment.

The country’s horticulture sub-sector is an especially important source of all-season employment in rural areas and provides a significant number of jobs for women. Moreover, horticultural crops generate significantly higher revenues for farmers than wheat and cotton. Fruit and vegetable production accounts for as much as 50% of the value of crop output and over 35% of agriculture export value.

The initial Horticulture Development Project ($150 million), approved in 2014, focused on addressing constraints in the sector. The Additional Financing will build upon the success of the original Project – which as of the end of 2017 included 223 sub-loans issued across the country– by providing additional funding to farmers, private enterprises, agri-firms and agri-processing enterprises.

The Project will improve access to financial services for farmers across Uzbekistan, and support the purchase of seeds and seedlings, water-saving irrigation technologies (such as drip irrigation), cold storage facilities, and processing equipment.

The WB assists Uzbekistan to reach a wide range of development goals by supporting 16 projects worth $ 2 billion. These projects support agriculture and water resources management, energy, transport, healthcare, education, urban development, water supply and sanitation.

Growth in agricultural production in 2017 amounted to 1.9 percent compared to 2016. In 2017, the total volume of agriculture, forestry and fishery products (services) was 69.504 trillion soums, or 102 percent to the corresponding period of 2016.

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