As Delivered Remarks of U.S. Ambassador Pamela L. Spratlen

USAID Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) Project:

Seminar on Cold Storage in Horticulture: Current State and Perspectives

February, 16, 2017 09:00 a.m.

Ассалом Алейкум!  Доброе Утро!  Good morning to all of you!  It’s my great pleasure and honor to be here to welcome you to the opening of this wonderful event recognizing what’s happening in horticulture in Uzbekistan.

I had the great honor of meeting the new Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources yesterday with our guests from the United States.  And, he said that Uzbekistan is very much ready for cooperation with the United States.  I think this project is a great example.

Today, as you already heard, is about linkages, the linkages between you, the linkages between the United States and Uzbekistan and the linkage between nature and technology as this sector of horticulture is developed in Uzbekistan.

The United States sees great promise in Uzbekistan and its flavors, and you are some of the people who are going to help the world understand this beautiful country through the work that you do in bringing, from the earth to the market, the wonderful produce of this country.

So, thank you very much!  It’s a great pleasure to see all of the farmers here and the representatives from the Ministry, representatives from the United States who know Central Asia very well, representatives from the U. S. Agency for International Development and our Embassy colleagues.

I would like to say that one of the most important things in agriculture is time, and all of you know that extremely well.  So, I’d like to say that United States has been committed to working in this sector since 2008.  USAID has partnered with Uzbekistan in this sector through various projects.

Uzbekistan’s horticultural diversity, quality and richness are true national treasures.  But, growers here all face a common challenge.  After cultivating high-quality produce, they must determine how to efficiently store and ship their products in a way that yields the highest possible returns.  Cold storage technologies can prolong shelf life and maintain quality facilitating safe consumption of produce both domestically and internationally.

Today’s workshop is intended to showcase the cold storage industry and its potential impact on every step of the value chain here in Uzbekistan.  This forum will discuss best practices, current challenges, and perspectives on future development.

We have in John Riordan, our USAID Director, one of the most experienced and dedicated professionals working in this area so this is a great opportunity for all of you to help him hear what we can do together to keep this project going and growing and to improve it.

And as I close, I would like to thank our representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources for the wonderful welcome today.  I would like to echo their challenge for your active participation because I think that is going to make this conference even better, as well as thank Chuck May of DAI – a very important person – for working diligently to implement the Agriculture Value Chains project here in Uzbekistan.  It is because of your enthusiasm, energy, and professionalism that the United States Government, through USAID, can continue to invest in Uzbekistan’s horticulture sector.

Thank you very much.  Катта рахмат.  Спасибо.