Uzbekistan’s warm climate and plentiful sun make it a great place to grow large, juicy pomegranates. But few if any of these luscious fruits have been exported to international markets until now.

The project “Sustainable Development in Rural Areas of Uzbekistan” aims to change all that. It is co-funded by the European Union and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ). GLOBALG.A.P. partners with GIZ to help farmers in Central Asia achieve certification in good agricultural practices and reach markets around the world with their produce.

Empowering Farmers Through Cooperation

This project supports farmers in six regions of Uzbekistan: Ferghana, Andijan, Namangan, Kashkadarya, Syrdarya, and Jizzakh. Uzbekistan’s famous pomegranates grow in Syrdarya.

In 2017, 35 farms in Syrdarya’s Mirzabad district formed a cooperative called Dexqonobod Asl Anori. The cooperative produces pomegranates and has been processing pomegranate juice since 2018.

The regional Khokimiyat government provided the cooperative with a 5-hectare plot of land and a building, which was renovated with the project’s support. Cooperative chairman Nematov Isroil said, “Farmers have concluded that producers’ cooperatives are totally different from the system of the past and represent a very profitable association of farmers with benefits for everyone.”

The Uzbekistan government is also doing its part to encourage growth in the agricultural sector. Decree No. 42/39 of March 14, 2019 regarding cooperation, support from the Ministry of Economy and Industry, and assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture all promote the activities of producers’ cooperatives in the country.

Reaching More Markets through the GLOBALG.A.P. Certificate

Growers with international quality certification can win the trust of potential buyers.

GLOBALG.A.P. helps producers ensure good agricultural practices and other quality standards that are valued by international markets. Companies from Korea, Turkey, and the Netherlands are showing interest in Syrdarya pomegranates now that the cooperative has undergone certification through GLOBALG.A.P.

Preparations for certification in the Syrdarya region began last year. During the 2019 fall harvest season, GLOBALG.A.P. auditors Iuliana Grigoriu and Vito Mariga visited the farms of the Dexqonobod Asl Anori cooperative. The two experts were impressed by the juiciness and beauty of the fruits

Iuliana Grigoriu said, “We are very pleased with the opportunity to conduct such an audit and support farmers in exporting their products.”

When asked why it is so important for farmers to get certification through GLOBALG.A.P., auditor Vito Marega said, “Compliance with GLOBALG.A.P. standards is mandatory for farmers if they wish to export their products. When exporting, the price of products is usually higher than when sold in local markets.”

At first glance, obtaining certification through GLOBALG.A.P. seems like a complex process. But any cooperative in Uzbekistan can undergo the same audit by simply following all the rules and requirements.

Then it’s time to reap the rewards!

This is an excerpt of the following article: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/uzbekistan/69792/pomegranates-uzbekistan-are-reaching-new-level-thanks-international-certification-globalgap_en

Photo and text credit to GIZ Uzbekistan

Dexqonobod Asl Anori Farmer cooperative
GGN: 4063061151322