The Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan and the International Potato Center (CIP) are launching a five-year program “Improving food security and resilience to climate change in Uzbekistan through breeding and seed production of potatoes and sweet potatoes.” This year, the Potato Advanced Research and Development Center is being launched.
The adverse effects of climate change on agricultural productivity underscore the need to develop and disseminate new varieties of potatoes and sweet potatoes that are essential for national and regional ecosystems and local value chains. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are two ideal crops for food and income for large, medium and especially small farmers. These two crops have excellent potential in Uzbekistan as high-yielding, drought-tolerant and stress-tolerant crops with increased soil salinity, rational use of water and nutrient crops with high nutrient content.
On 27 May 2021, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan issued a CIP certificate confirming its accreditation in Uzbekistan and the resumption of the office’s work. CIP is an international potato research organization founded in 1971 (headquartered in Peru) and operating in 30 countries around the world.
“Potato is a strategic crop for Uzbekistan after wheat and occupies one of the first places in the consumer basket of the country. The goal of the CIP mission in the next 5-10 years in the Republic of Uzbekistan is to create a Center for Advanced Research and Development in the field of potatoes and sweet potatoes. The expected result is an increase in potato yields of at least 30%, where CIP activities in the value chain will increase farmers’ profits by at least 15%. The received certificate will allow us to optimally implement our mission in the Republic of Uzbekistan and in the Central Asia region for the benefit of farmers and agricultural communities,” said Rusudan Mdivani, CIP representative in Central Asia and the Caucasus, at one of the working meetings.
Cooperation with CIP and the launch of the center is aimed at achieving the following practical results in Uzbekistan:
– development of local seed production, breeding of new local high-yielding potato varieties that are resistant to drought, diseases and pests;
– providing advice and training to farmers with the participation of leading international experts in the field of potato growing;
– introduction of a new system of crop rotation of potatoes and grain crops and innovative methods of storage and processing;
– advanced training of Uzbek breeders and specialists in potato growing.
– an increase in the production of local high-quality seed material of potatoes and sweet potatoes from generations of the elite and super elite.
“The Center for Advanced Potato Research and Development will contribute to the transformation of the country’s potato sector by increasing yields and creating conditions for export. In Uzbekistan, systematic work is being carried out to meet the needs of the population in food products, where a strategic view is also directed to the development of potato growing in the country. This initiative will become an international experience and a regional resource for strengthening national systems of potato seed production in Uzbekistan and neighboring countries for Central Asia,” said Alisher Shukurov, Advisor to the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan during the working meeting.