On June 4, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on priorities for effective use of land and water resources in agriculture.
High yields in agricultural sector are possible only with rational use of land and water resources. However, due to the lack of attention to irrigation networks and lack of ownership of land, 450 thousand hectares of irrigated land became unsuitable for cultivation over the past 30 years.
Now, Uzbekistan has more than 1 million hectares of land that can be used. It was noted that measures should be taken to develop them through irrigation and introduction of water-saving technologies, cultivation of crops undemanding water.
Measures on introducing an effective system for land reclamation were discussed at the meeting.
The need was noted for order implementation based on international experience, according to which the lands eliminated from turnover will be re-cultivated on public-private partnership (PPP). At the same time, investors will have the right to independently place crops on developed soils, lease land and build necessary infrastructure.
The Head of the state approved proposal of the World Bank on introducing model for restoration of unused lands on the basis of PPP in a particular region of Uzbekistan and gave instructions to managers of relevant ministries on implementation of this project.
Proposals were made on introduction of public-private partnership mechanisms in management of irrigation networks.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Land Resources, Geodesy, Cartography and State Cadastre were instructed to ensure the transfer of 281 thousand hectares of land subject to reclamation to project initiators based on PPP in 2019-2021. It was noted that it is important to grow export-oriented fruits and vegetables on these lands, as well as, create new varieties of drought-resistant crops.
Proposals have been forwarded on introduction of technologies to improve soil fertility, reclamation and water supply on newly developed lands, introduction of order of partial compensation of costs aimed at these purposes.
Special attention was paid to issues of uninterrupted water supply of restored lands, use of water-saving technologies.
During the discussion, the State Committees on Geology and Ecology, the Ministry of Water Resources were given recommendations on identification and effective use of groundwater reserves suitable for irrigation of rainfed lands and pastures.
Instructions were given to identify effective measures on preventing illegal use of land and reviewing control system in this sphere.
The need for launching a single automated system for ensuring the accuracy of land cadastre data and efficiency of its management was noted.
Relevant instructions were given to officials on the issues discussed at the meeting.