USAID strengthens linkages between academia and private sector agribusinesses in Uzbekistan

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partnered with eight private agribusinesses and academia, including Tashkent State Agrarian University and its three regional branches, Andijan Institute of Agriculture and Agricultural Technologies, and Samarkand Institute of Veterinary Medicine to conduct five webinars for students and faculty on a wide range of postharvest handling topics including quality control and adding value to agricultural products, and return on investment on postharvest technologies. 

About 400 students and 22 faculty members from five regions of Uzbekistan participated in a series of webinars, hosted by technical experts and the university. The webinars involved panelists from eight private sector agribusinesses operating in processing, packaging, cold storage, and exporting. The panelists presented case studies and provided students with real life examples of solutions to challenges faced by Uzbek agribusinesses. 

While the curriculum at agricultural educational institutions in Uzbekistan is largely focused on the theoretical and technical aspects of production, there is a high demand among students for knowledge and business skills needed to add value to agricultural products. Creating a link between academia and agribusiness helps to solve this problem and has immense benefits for both - the former prepares the students with the theoretical knowledge of the industry and the latter provides real world examples much needed to enrich the learning process. 

“Availability of a well-trained workforce and support from academia, as well as an effective extension service network are key to creating a favorable agribusiness environment. We are excited to be able to support the academia and private sector to jointly address issues faced by agribusinesses,” said Kirk Ramer, USAID Agribusiness Development activity Chief of Party. 

The webinars were organized by the recently launched USAID Agribusiness Development activity - a five-year project, implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan - that supports private sector-led growth in Uzbekistan’s agriculture sector by introducing new value-added technologies and management practices across the entire value chain for targeted agricultural commodities. The activity focuses on increasing value-added production within Uzbekistan, engaging women and youth, linking educational institutions with private sector demand, and promoting favorable policies for agriculture.

Last updated: April 23, 2021

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