On April 21, 2021, meetings were held simultaneously at the Tashkent State Agrarian University and the Samarkand branch of Tashkent State University of Economics, within the framework of the project “Development of Higher Education Content aimed to Support Industries for Sustainable Production of Qualitative Agri-food” (AgroDev).

The activities were aimed to review the findings and conclusions of the comprehensive analysis of identified preconditions and difficulties, which shall be taken into consideration during the development of new training modules for educational programs related to agriculture in Uzbekistan.

At the beginning of 2021, the two above-mentioned Universities jointly conducted a survey among representatives of the agricultural industry (agro-clusters, industry associations, cooperatives, farms) and relevant Government agencies to identify needs, problems, suggestions and recommendations.

The participants discussed the results of the analysis, reviewed the skill gaps identified by producers during the survey, and jointly developed recommendations, which were considered on the latest analysis amendments.

The special focus was on discussing the possibilities and necessary steps on establishing long-term and sustainable cooperation among relevant government bodies, universities and the private sector (agricultural enterprises) for training skillful specialists who will meet the needs of the agricultural sector of Uzbekistan.

The meetings were attended by the Government bodies (Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, Agriculture, Economy and the State Agency for Standardization), industry associations and representatives of the private sector – producers, processors and exporters of agricultural products.

In view of the fact that the Republic of Uzbekistan had received (from 10 April 2021) the status of a beneficiary of the European Union Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP+) when exporting goods to the EU, tariffs on a number of important export products, including agricultural products, were abolished and taking into consideration the “Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of 18 May 2020 No. UP-5995” the project initiative is relevant and extremely important.

It is important to note that these meetings were organized by the “AgroDev” consortium led by the Latvian University of Natural Sciences and Technology, funded by the European Union program “ERASMUS +”.

The “AgroDev” project aims to strengthen links among universities and agro-food production industry in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.