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Are logistical challenges preventing Uzbekistan from increasing fruit and vegetable exports to Russia?

Russia and Uzbekistan could increase trade in agricultural products by establishing mutual deliveries of perishable goods by rail using refrigerated containers, according to the Russian Association of Food Sector Organizations (ASORPS).

In February, ASORPS took the “Business Russia” mission to Uzbekistan. According to Sputnik, entrepreneurs from Russia met with representatives from various departments and organizations for the Republic of Uzbekistan, producers and exporters of agricultural products, and studied the existing logistics for the transportation of goods to Russia.

According to the President of ASORPS Mikhail Sinev, Russian operators of refrigerated containers are ready to develop supplying perishable goods from Uzbekistan to Russia. However, there is a problem that must be resolved first. According to Mr Sinev, there are many small farms scattered across Uzbekistan that cannot provide the required product volumes for transportation.

“We need a consolidator, someone capable of collecting and preparing cargo of at least 1,000 tons in one place at the scheduled time. As soon as this issue is resolved, we can start working,” said the ASORPS President.

Read also: AgroWorld Uzbekistan 2021 – the largest international agricultural exhibition in Central Asia

The initial stage of the plan is to have a train of two to five refrigerated containers with fruits and vegetables travel from Uzbekistan to Russia. After this start to the project is successful, such freights are planned to be made regular and even a possible increase in reefer container shipments. “The main products for transportation are grapes, persimmons, pomegranates, and vegetables,” the release says.

Yet, to develop the line from Russia to Uzbekistan, there must also be a flow of goods requiring a special temperature regime. As of today, there is no such flow of goods.

The press service noted that during the negotiations within the framework of the business mission, the Uzbek colleagues more than once showed interest in centralized deliveries from Russia to the republic of vegetable oils, flour, and other consumer goods.

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