UZBEK FRUIT CROPS FLOURISH AFTER SIMPLE TECHNICAL CHANGES

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					                             DAI Success Stories




                           UZBEK FRUIT CROPS FLOURISH AFTER
                           SIMPLE TECHNICAL CHANGES
                           Championing solutions that lead to resilient and sustainable
                           livelihoods
DAI                        For many people in developing countries, farming        Trellised grapes have advantages over “bush”
7600 Wisconsin Avenue
                           is the foundation on which their lives depend. For      grapes grown on the ground: their leaves receive
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Bethesda, Maryland 20814
                           two young men from eastern Uzbekistan, learning         more sunlight and air, resulting in greater clusters
USA                        better ways to grow fruit invigorated their farms       and fewer rotten grapes and diseases, all of which
                           and, in one case, settled a friendly sibling rivalry.   increase yield. By using trellises, Mr. Jorayev’s
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                                                                                   vineyard, located in Pop District, Namangan
www.dai.com                Tursunali Jorayev’s small vineyard was under-           Province, prospered from 2008 to 2009. His yield
                           performing, so in 2008 he volunteered for a pro-        increased from 3.5 to 8.0 tons, and his income
                           gram through the U.S. Agency for International          more than tripled from 600,000 to 2.1 million
                           Development (USAID)-funded AgLinks project,             Uzbek soums (US$1,424). Through local dealers
                           which presented to local farmers a technique            he exported 350 kilograms of the “Toyfi” variety to
                           using trellises. Mr. Jorayev, a 27-year-old father      Russia for the first time.
                           of three, jumped at the chance to improve his
                           livelihood.                                             Mr. Jorayev plans to invest in his vineyard, pro-
                                                                                   cure new grape varieties, and install trellises on
                           Under the program, AgLinks offered a cost-share         his remaining two hectares. Mr. Jorayev noted the
                           arrangement to farmers who established trellises        importance of the training programs, as training
                           on one hectare of their land. Mr. Jorayev paid for      has been scarce since the former Soviet Union’s
                           the labor, food, and installation during construc-      collective farm period.
                           tion, while AgLinks funded the cement, wire, and
                           transport.                                              “It is important to have training like the grape
                                                                                   best practices, which was very interesting and




                           Namangan grape best practices training.
Peach contest.




useful for everybody here,” Mr. Jorayev said. “We     procured, and adapted to the Uzbek language
learned a lot of useful things—proper watering,       by USAID, including manuals and demonstration
fertilizer application, pruning techniques, canopy    films. Twenty-three people, including Odiljon,
management.”                                          attended the two-day, hands-on training that
                                                      covered orchard establishment, pruning, thinning,
Elsewhere in the Ferghana Valley, in the Quvasoy      and frost control.
District, Odiljon Rakhimberdiev and his younger
brother, Emin, were competing to see who could        The impact was realized during the summer
produce the most fruit.                               harvest—Odiljon sold 3 tons of peaches from his
                                                      0.8 hectare orchard versus the 0.6 tons sold by
Odiljon and his four brothers farm 70 hectares        his younger brother from his 4-hectare orchard.
as members of the Quvasoy Bekhizor agrifirm. In       Russian buyers came to Odiljon’s orchard to pur-
the competition, Emin, an experienced fruit tree      chase his 3-ton crop for 1.65 million Uzbek soum
grower, was certain he would win because Odiljon      (US$1,120), so he didn’t bear the cost of taking
was more experienced in growing wheat and             his crop to market.
cotton. But Odiljon had a strategy to prove his
younger brother wrong.                                “The crop is very attractive when it is ready to
                                                      pick, and customers like it because they can
AgLinks offered interested farmers the chance         see the quality of the fruit immediately,” Odiljon
to host trainings in their orchards in return for     said. “I regret I didn’t prune more trees, but I will
technical assistance and equipment, so Odiljon        certainly do more next year.”
volunteered 0.8 of his 3.5 hectares of fruit trees—
mostly plum and peach—for the demonstration.          Odiljon has replicated the pruning system with
                                                      five neighbors on a total of six hectares with
The pruning training in February 2009 was based       similarly impressive results. He has since trained
on the University of California-Davis techniques      all his orchard workers on the new approach and
for plum and peach trees. These were identified,      intends to implement it on his entire orchard of
                                                      three-year-old trees.




DAI Advancing Human Prosperity                                                                           12.09