During the period of September 10-14, 2018, a panel of international experts from the United Nations Environment Program – Matthew Billot, Thomas Marcus, Olzhas Atymtaev, and Nikolai Denisov visited Uzbekistan on a mission.
The main goal of this mission is to provide technical assistance to the Uzhydromet in the preparation of a project proposal “Development of agrometeorological services for ensuring climate-resilient sustainable agricultural production in Uzbekistan”. Uzhydromet plans to introduce this project in 2019 via the Green Climate Fund.
The experts met with representatives of Uzhydromet, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Agriculture, UzAgroExport JSC, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, the Research institute on gardening, wine-growing and wine-making named for M. Mirzaev, the World Bank, and the Food Agriculture Organization to discuss issues related to the preparation of this project proposal regarding the improvement of agrometeorological services.
During the meetings, the issues of modernizing the network of agrometeorological observations was discussed with emphasis on: increasing the volume of observations of vegetable crops, creating conditions at the stations for determining soil moisture in cotton fields, providing thermometers for the measurement of the minimum temperature of the root soil, leading toward the possibility of studying the effect of climate change on crop yields. In addition, the panel of international and national experts identified measures and approaches toward the development of early warning systems for hazardous climate-dependent phenomena for agricultural production and consideration was paid to the advancement of information and communication development with the farmers of Uzbekistan. It is the farmers who can accurately determine the proper strategy for growing new varieties of crops, the impact of climate change on crops, ways to preserve the harvest during the mass ripening of agricultural products, and much more.
Participants in the meetings highlighted the importance of providing agrometeorological services to farmers and noted that a significant aspect in productive farm production is the successful prediction of drought and abnormal precipitation. Within the framework of the Program for the Development of Agriculture for 2017-2021, it is planned to use the most promising direction of development of agricultural crops - diversification. This program specifies the need to take measures to significantly reduce the area under cotton and grain crops, to develop gardens on these liberated areas through intensive technologies and improve the fruit and vegetable economy. These measures will significantly improve the situation in the region concerning the use of land and water resources which meet the interests and priorities of the development of the agricultural sector in Uzbekistan. The experts visited the gardening farm “Eco agro product”, in which a portable weather station had been installed by the UNDP project. The agronomists also acquainted the foreign delegates with the work of their agrometeorological stations, which provide information for growing fruits such as apples, cherries, and apricots.
As a result of the work of the mission in Uzbekistan, the parties determined the terms for the preparation of the concept of the project and a preliminary feasibility study for a phased consideration in the Green Climate Fund.