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Potato imports to Uzbekistan in 2021 exceeded half a million tonnes for the first time

Uzbekistan imported 60.4 thousand tonnes of potatoes from 1 December to 20 December 2021, EastFruit analysts report, referring to the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan. According to analysts, the volume of potato imports from 1 January to 20 December 2021 amounted to 516.2 thousand tonnes, which is 23% higher than the total import volume in 2020. Meanwhile, in order to reduce dependence on imports, the government of the republic plans to dramatically increase the area of potato sowing in 2022.

The previous record was set last year: according to EastFruit analysts, imports of marketable potatoes to Uzbekistan amounted to 421 thousand tonnes in 2020, which was almost 1.5 times higher than in 2019. Potatoes have become the main import commodity in Uzbekistan’s fruit and vegetable sector over the past few years. Until 2016, the annual import volume of potatoes did not exceed 50 thousand tonnes per year, and in 2017 the import amounted to 194 thousand tonnes. The volume of imports increased 2.7 times from 2017 to 2021.

In order to reduce the volume of potato imports, the republic plans to dramatically increase the area planted with potatoes next year. According to the National News Agency of Uzbekistan, the projected are planted with potatoes will amount to 122 thousand hectares, which is 40% more than in 2021.

We remind you that by the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan on planting of various crops on agricultural land, 86.5 thousand hectares were allocated for planting potatoes in 2021.

In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan and the International Potato Center (CIP) launched a five-year program “Improving food security and climate resilience in Uzbekistan through breeding and seed production of potatoes and sweet potatoes” in July 2021. The expected result of the program is an increase in the yield of potatoes produced in the republic by at least 30%.

At the beginning of December 2021, EastFruit wrote that total potato imports to Uzbekistan could exceed 500 thousand tonnes for the first time by the end of 2021. In addition, Uzbekistan is very likely to become the 5th largest potato importer in the world, second only to Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy.

Moreover, in terms of the volume of net imports, i.e. for fresh domestic consumption, Uzbekistan could be the first in the world, surpassing Italy, which exports early potatoes. The reason is that the first three leaders import a large share of potatoes for processing and export the finished product – frozen fries and other potato products.

EastFruit

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