Hands-on Agricultural Research Site Opens in Andijan

April 23–At an event today in Andijan, Gary Robbins, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Uzbekistan Country Director and Dr. Abduaziz Abduvasikov, Rector of the Andijan Branch of Tashkent State Agrarian University (TSAU) opened a new orchard and drip irrigation demonstration site, established with the support of USAID’s Agricultural Value Chains (AVC) project.  TSAU professors and students will use this site to conduct research and studies in fruit production and smart irrigation practices.

Today’s event is the culmination of a two-year collaboration between USAID and the Andijan Branch of TSAU.  The University allocated a 6.5-hectare orchard plot and 1-hectare vineyard plot, while USAID provided technical support for soil and water analysis, identification of the best crops for these particular plots, design of the orchard, and installation of an advanced drip irrigation system.  USAID also trained students in best production practices for apples, plums, and grapes; pest and disease management procedures; and management and maintenance of the drip irrigation system.

“By providing students and professors with opportunities to conduct independent research, this demonstration site will encourage the testing of new ideas and innovations in fruit production,” Robbins said.  “With its rich soil, temperate climate, and abundance of highly sought after fruit, vegetables and nuts, Uzbekistan has great potential to become Central Asia’s leading exporter of high-value horticulture.”

USAID’s Agricultural Value Chains Activity is a five-year program that works throughout Uzbekistan’s entire horticultural value chain to create employment; increase fruit and vegetable yield, quality, and exports; and strengthen relationships between educational institutions and the private sector.