An Uzbek horticultural exchange program initiated by USAID brought 38 farmers, agribusiness owners and employees, nursery owners, extension agents and government officials to California for four seasonal trips timed to coincide with the Uzbek and California 2012 cropping seasons. Each trip focused on a specific theme: pruning and trellising fruit trees and grapes, best nursery practices, best cold storage practices, and grape and raisin production best practices. In summer 2013, USAID will host the first program to bring Californian horticulturalists to Uzbekistan to reconnect with alumni and visit orchards, nurseries and cold storage facilities.
USAID's Agricultural Linkages Plus Project (AgLinks Plus) worked in collaboration with the International House at Davis, University of California.
Participants experienced world-class facilities, technologies and techniques by visiting best practice operations and field and production locations. More importantly, participants are not just looking and seeing, they are adapting what they see to their own circumstances in Uzbekistan.
Tojiddin Toshpulatov operates a small private nursery with his family in Uzbekistan's Namangan province. He participated in the trip that focused on best nursery practices. At one of the many large private nurseries in California that he visited, Toshpulatov learned a field budding technique that would allow him to produce saplings for sale in one year instead of two. Because the tours coincide with seasonal activities, Toshpulatov called his son back in Uzbekistan and instructed him to immediately begin budding their saplings, describing the process over the phone.
"I called my family to immediately bud the trees in order not to miss the season and waste one year. I am sure results are not long to come," said Toshpulatov.
The USAID AgLinks Plus project is achieving excellent results through best practice demonstrations—the look, see, do approach—and helping disseminate state-of-the-art information. The tours significantly help fuel the adaption of critical technology. AgLinks Plus has supported demonstration plots across all project crops and activities. The project works in Uzbekistan to strengthen the ability of agricultural enterprises, joint stock companies, and leasehold farms to respond to specific market opportunities.
Last updated: August 30, 2013