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SUFACHAIN project workshop in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

Tashkent, Uzbekistan, April 25-26th April 2024

On 25th and 26th April, 16 scientists, five entrepreneurs and representatives from four civil society organizations from Germany and Central Asia participated at the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers Institute (TIIAME), National Research University, Uzbekistan, for the workshop of the SUFACHAIN project.

The SUFACHAIN project is a collaborative effort between universities, research institutions, NGOs, and agribusiness SMEs in Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The project intends to promote sustainable land management and agroforestry value chains in Central Asia by developing knowledge and technologies aimed at increasing the profitability, resource efficiency, and product quality in the cultivation, processing and marketing for a variety of fruits and nuts.

The workshop was opened with welcome addresses presented by Otabek Mahkamov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovations of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Prof. Dr. Bakhadir Mirzaev, Rector of TIIAME, Prof. Dr. Dilfuza Egamberdieva of TIIAME, Zokir Rakhimov of the Ministry of Ecology, Environmental Protection & Climate Change of Uzbekistan, Prof. Dr. Dietrich Darr of Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences (HSRW), Germany. During the event, participants engaged in structured discussions reviewing the overall research agenda and progress and existing constraints. Additionally, respective working groups comprising of scientific experts (including HSRW, TU Dresden, I. Razzakov Kyrgyz State Technical University, Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, Uzbek National University, industry partners (Organic Services GmbH, KAFLU, DANECO, Altyn Bak LLC, Global Agro Trade and Logistics Centre LLC) and international organizations (Aga Khan Foundation, GIZ, UNDP, KIVA / KRASS and World Agroforestry Center) discussed opportunities for mutual contribution to collectively achieve sustainable development in Central Asia through the adoption of innovative agroforestry systems. Further project funding opportunities were highlighted by Dr. Peter Liebelt from CASIB.

After completion of the workshop, with support of local partners, the research group from Germany and Central Asia visited several agroforestry sites and corresponding value chains in the Fergana Valley region of Uzbekistan. Participants gained firsthand insight into the operations and processes of fruit and nut production, including apples, apricots, peach, and grapes. Lastly, an organic farming facility was visited as an example for contemporary agroforestry practice in the Fergana Valley region for papaya, kiwi, olives, lavender and the production of medicinal plants. The excursion allowed the group to identify experimental sites for further research to foster sustainable land management within the scope of agroforestry practices in Central Asia.

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