Specialists of the ministries of economy and of agriculture, agencies for standardization and metrology, and representatives of small and medium-size businesses of the four Central Asian countries, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, discussed in Bishkek the elaboration of joint position on quality standards and market condition of agriculture products for their further exports outside the region. They intend to more broadly use geographic, climatic, and intellectual potential of the region to produce competitive vegetables and fruits, as well as processed products. The meeting's participants discussed the strategy and joint action plan to promote and implement international standards.
It is known that Central Asian countries that are one of the main producers of organic dry fruits and vegetables are drawing attention of consumers not only in traditional markets but also in other countries of the world. However, agriculture cannot use the existing potential. One lacks a network of small and flexible plants, and there are problems related to the quality of products and their market condition. This in particular deals with dry fruits: apricots, prunes, compot mixtures of apples, pears, peaches, quinces and other fruits that are grown in the Fergana Valley and that one has now started to grow in other regions.
When building plants, businessmen don’t always pay attention to the quality management system and the introduction of common standards which allow them to successfully compete on global markets. They mainly need increasing their economic and financial knowledge so that to introduce UNECE standards.
"All fruit and vegetable producers in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and southern Kazakhstan have the same problems. They need a unified quality management system that complies with international standards in order to enter global markets. This requires that each plant from the very beginning starts planning this system the way that it ensures the production of high-quality products with good market condition. Specialists should help businessmen in this sphere. One is unable to do without them," one of the project's participants Shukhrat Kodirov (Tajikistan) told InfoSCO correspondent.
Local analysts believe that fruit and vegetable producers in Central Asian countries could use the current potential to significantly improve their positions on neighboring markets, primarily such big markets as Russia and China. Russia is a traditional agriculture market for producers from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. Kazakhstan is both a producer and traditional consumer of fruits and vegetables.
Recently, Chinese businessmen have started to consider the option of importing dry fruits from Central Asia. For example, this year several Chinese companies signed many-year contracts on the delivery of dry apricots. Annually, in the beginning of spring, Russian companies sign agreements on the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. If there are international certificates and good market condition, organic fruits with good taste produced in Central Asian countries could compete with any other similar products on the Russian market and hope for conquering the markets in Europe and other countries.
Another advantage of Central Asian countries is that the Fergana Valley, which is considered to be the main fruit and vegetable producing region, is on the intersection of international trade routes. And the region's participation in the One Belt, One Road project could unveil great prospects of developing trade along the New Silk Road transport corridors.