The USAID AgLinks Plus Project, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan, launched a state-of-the-art tissue culture laboratory to the Mirzaev Horticulture Research Institute on February 13, 2015. Ambassador Spratlen delivered opening remarks and toured the facilities with GOU counterparts.
This technology will produce around 5,000 virus free and salt tolerant pome and stone rooted fruit plants each week; in contrast to conventional nurseries that can only operate during certain times of the year. The tissue culture laboratory will produce seedlings year-round.
The equipment purchased by the project is valued at approximately $300,000 and has the potential to earn the institute at least $100,000 per year by selling the plants the laboratory produces. The laboratory will produce better seedlings at a lower cost for Uzbek farmers.
More than 50 participants attended the handover ceremony event, including Uzbek government officials, individuals from private nursery firms and most importantly students from the Tashkent Agrarian University.