The Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan and the International Potato Center (CIP) are launching a five-year program “Improving food security and climate resilience in Uzbekistan through breeding and seed production of potatoes and sweet potatoes”.
According to experts, these crops have great potential for cultivation in the country, as they are high-yielding, drought-resistant and stress-resistant.
“Potatoes are a strategic crop for Uzbekistan and occupy one of the first places in the consumer basket of citizens. 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 potato and sweet potato production. The expected result is an increase in crop yields by at least 30%, which will increase farmers' profits by at least 15%, ”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 are aimed at achieving the following practical results in Uzbekistan:
- the development of local seed production, the development of new local high-yielding potato varieties that are resistant to drought, diseases and pests;
- providing advice to farmers with the participation of leading international experts in the field of potato growing;
- introduction of a new crop rotation system for potatoes and grain crops, as well as innovative storage and processing methods;
- advanced training of Uzbek breeders and specialists in potato growing;
- increasing the production of local quality seed material of potatoes and sweet potatoes from generations of elite and super elite.
For reference: earlier, in 2005-2016, a regional CIP office operated in Tashkent, which carried out activities throughout Central Asia. In 2015, as a result of joint work with the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a "Biotechnological collection of potatoes" was created in Uzbekistan, numbering 132 clones of potatoes and three clones of sweet potatoes, transferred by CIP to Uzbekistan in the form of in vitro plants for propagation and testing. Also in 2016, the Scientific Research Institute of Vegetable and Melon Crops and Potatoes of Uzbekistan, with the support of the CIP, released nine new varieties of potatoes, four of which were included in the State Register (Sarnav, Serhosil, Baraka, Pskom).