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Agricultural service centres to be created in Uzbekistan with support from the World Bank

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved the concept for priority development of a knowledge and innovation system in the field of agriculture in 2021–2025, Sputnik writes.

According to the concept, a coordinating council will be formed in Uzbekistan, which will ensure close integration of education, science, and production in the field of agriculture. Its working body, the National Centre for Knowledge and Innovation in Agriculture, will establish business cooperation between farmers, clusters, and cooperatives as well as with advanced foreign research institutions. The Centre will coordinate the activities of state institutions of science and higher education in the agricultural sector.

Read also: Uzbekistan successfully introduces greenhouse technologies for growing grapes

The competence of the structure will also include training in agricultural universities and technical schools taking into account the needs of the sector as well as creating a personnel certification system. It is planned to develop information and consulting services with wide involvement of the private sector to create an International Expert Board.

Assistance will be provided in the implementation of international quality standards. The new Centre is being created on the basis of the Research and Production Centre for Agriculture and Food Supply, State Unitary Enterprise “Agroinnovation” and the Centre for Cotton Seed Production.

It will unite three research institutes: rainfed agriculture, agriculture in the southern regions, and NGOs for grain and rice, in addition to the Research Institute of Horticulture, Viticulture, and Winemaking named after V.I. Academician M. Mirzaev as well as the Research Institute of Plant Protection.

It is planned to create the Yanglinsky Agro-Innovation Park in cooperation with China.

How to solve the problem of financing

Projects included in the five-year state order programs will be financed mainly from the state budget. In addition, the Foundation for the Support of Knowledge and Innovation in Agriculture will be established.

The funds allocated within the framework of the World Bank project and on the basis of public-private partnerships in 2021-2022 will create the national and regional centres of agricultural services. They will provide information and consulting services.

The World Bank allocated funds in the amount of $160 million on transforming public administration and agricultural research institutions.

How to attract entrepreneurs to applied science

From March 1, 2021, it has planned to create, as an experiment, small scientific and innovative enterprises in the Research Institute of the National Centre system with the involvement of business entities.

At the same time, scientific institutions will organize scientifically-based sowing, seed production and selection of agricultural crops; develop proposals for protecting plants from pests; and increasing soil fertility. In turn, business entities will assist in financing the activities of research institutes to create new varieties and hybrids and will take measures to commercialize the results of their activities. It will also help businesses to establish production and exports and to purchase equipment for laboratories as well as for storage, sorting, and packaging of seeds and processing of fruits and vegetables.

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