IFAD to continue to support Uzbekistan in meeting its rural dev't goals

Finance Materials 31 October 2022 09:28
Baku, Azerbaijan Trend News Agency Natavan Rzayeva
IFAD to continue to support Uzbekistan in meeting its rural dev't goals

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Government of Uzbekistan have extended their successful cooperation to continue to support the country in meeting its rural development goals, Trend reports via IFAD.

In this regard, a new Country Strategic Opportunities Program (COSOP) for 2023 - 2027 was endorsed in Tashkent in the presence of government officials, IFAD managers and farmers’ representatives.

Over the next five years, IFAD and the Government of Uzbekistan commit to investing in the resilience and productivity of 205,000 rural households, representing 1.2 million rural people, small-scale producers, women and youth. In a regional context of compounding crises, IFAD’s support will focus on improving access to competitive agricultural markets for farmers, scaling up innovation and strengthening resilience to climate change.

The compounding effect of COVID-19, neighboring conflict and climate change is affecting the livelihood of smallholder farmers and producers in Uzbekistan. This makes this 5-year strategy very timely for the most vulnerable communities in need of support.

The COSOP will invest in climate-smart agriculture and sustainable land management approaches that improve productivity. To address inequality, the country program will take action to ensure that female representation is enhanced. Youth will represent 30 percent of direct beneficiaries, with a focus on rural entrepreneurship and equal access to digital technology.

The COSOP also addresses food insecurity and malnutrition through increased production of fresh produce, adoption of improved health standards and application of internationally recognized standards for production systems.

Agriculture represents nearly 30 percent of Uzbekistan’s GDP, the highest in the Europe and Central Asia region. Half of all Uzbeks, and 75 percent of the country’s low-income population, live in rural areas. As of 2021, small-scale producers and dehkan farmers (small household plots) numbered 5.5 million rural people – of these, IFAD has empowered some 99,000 households to create value in the horticulture and dairy sub-sectors.