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Uzbekistan Develops its Meat Industry

Uzbekistan is planning a significant increase meat production between now and 2019

Friday 11 September 2015, by Catherine BISSON-SERIAN

Uzbekistan has recently adopted a program of measures to ensure structural reforms, modernisation and diversification of meat production in 2015-2019. Under the terms of the program, total investment in the meat sector should reach $15.7 mln. Of this, $6.5 mln is to be spent on the construction of four new production facilities in different regions of the country. Another $9.2 mln will be devoted to the modernisation and expansion of production facilities at six of the country’s largest meat producers: Masterdelikatesov, Pozmetov ZM, Ibragimov XN, Agro Bravo, Bakht and Sieb Shavkat Orzu.

Uzbekistan boasts one of Central Asia’s fastest-growing economies, and the country’s food industry is on the cusp of a new era of development. Last year, the Programme of Measures to Expand and Develop the Food Industry in Uzbekistan in 2012-2015 was confirmed, outlining the future direction of the industry. Within the Programme, output of key food products is set to increase in the years up to 2015. Uzbekistan is only investing in projects which are using only the most modern technologies and equipment, so according to experts within 5-7 years the country’s poultry production can be considered one of the highest quality in the CIS.

The Programme calls for an increase in the production of 16 types of finished food products, and to this end $70 mln will be spent in the next five years on 33 construction, refitting, and modernisation projects in the country’s production facilities. During this period, the production of convenience foods using freeze dried fruits and vegetables will be launched, along with a confectionery factory with cocoa bean processing facilities. In addition, dry baking yeast, iodised salt, and cane sugar will all enter into production in this period.

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Uzbekistan Beef and Veal Meat Production by Year
(2015 figures not available yet)

Other plans for the next four years include the construction of 44 milk processing facilities, the construction or refitting of 90 meat processing factories, and finally, with a planned combined capacity of 41 000 tonnes, the creation of 26 and redevelopment of 78 fruit and vegetable processing facilities.

Meat production growing

According to industry experts’ preliminary estimates, implementing the program will result in the country’s meat production growing by about 25%, to 2.4 mln tonnes (mt) in liveweight by 2019.

In 2014, the country produced 1.9 mt of meat (liveweight), 6.7% more than in 2013. Beef accounts for 76% of the total size of the domestic meat market, with poultry the second-largest segment, according to the Agricultural Ministry. Currently, 1,280 poultry farms, with a total poultry stock of 10.5 mln head, are operating in the country.

In 2014 Uzbekistan’s livestock products had a total value of UZS15.1 tln ($5.87 bln). According to the country’s deputy minister of agriculture Yashin Hidirov, during the past decade Uzbekistan’s government has seen an average level of growth in the meat industry of 7-8% per year, and the new program will help maintain this pace of growth in the years ahead.

Number of cattle increased

“As a result of consistent measures [in the area of meat livestock industry development] in the past five years, the number of cattle in the country increased by 121%, sheep and goats by 120%, and poultry by 1.5 times”, added Hidirov.

“This ensured growth in meat products of 130%, with milk up 138%, and eggs up 162%. In addition, in 2014, the annual consumption of meat, milk and eggs per capita increased respectively by 1.3, 1.6 and 1.5 times compared with 1990.”

“Animal husbandry now accounts for 42% of total agricultural production in the country”, added Sobir Mavlonov, head of the Agriculture Ministry’s livestock department.

“The growth figures in recent years have also been achieved by increasing the numbers of livestock, as well as improving livestock productivity. For example, from 2006-2014 the country purchased about 46,000 pure-bred cows from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland, Austria, Germany and Netherlands.”

In 2011, to increase the poultry sector production capacity 30.371 bln soums ($16.45 mln) of bank loans and 17.21 bln soums ($9.3 mln) of private funds were spent. “Poultry farming in Uzbekistan is an extremely profitable industry. The return here can be obtained within a short time and high investments are not required”, says Ulugbek Ismailov, the head of Main Directorate of Livestock, Poultry and Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan.

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