A high-level delegation from Uzbekistan’s farming industry is visiting Ireland to examine, first hand, Ireland’s agricultural research, advice and education-related infrastructure.

Kholmirzaev Isroiljon Akramjonovich, the head of the executive department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, is leading the delegation’s 10-day study tour to Ireland.

The key purpose of the group’s visit is to assess how members of the farming and agri-business sector get news, information and education-related services.

As part of its study visit, the group will have an opportunity to see and experience how the media industry in Ireland delivers news updates and communicates technical information to farmers in Ireland.

Agriland Media Group is just one of the organisations that has briefed the Uzbekistan delegation during its visit.

Members of the visiting delegation from Uzbekistan with Agriland managing director Cormac Farrelly (front, third from right) and Prof. Gerry Boyle (front left)

Agriland Media Group‘s managing director, Cormac Farrelly, said he welcomed the opportunity to share how digital publishing has transformed how farmers throughout Ireland, the agri-business sector and anyone with an interest in agriculture can get the very latest updates.

“We know at Agriland how vitally important it is for farmers and for anyone operating in the agri-business sector to get the most relevant up-to-date news,” he said.

“Our meeting with the Uzbekistan delegation was a great opportunity for us to share exactly how digital media publishing can deliver and inform and ensure that, whereever you are and whatever you are doing, you can always get the latest news straight to your device.”

The study visit by the Uzbekistan delegation has been coordinated through the European Union’s ASK Facility – a programme that supports food security and food safety in Uzbekistan.

The facility is responsible for strengthening the capacity of scientific research institutes, plant quarantine and protection support services in Uzbekistan.

Agriculture in Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan has a population of 35 million and is home to 86,000 farmers.

Currently, the area of land farmed in Uzbekistan extends to 3.2 million hectares.

Improving food self-sufficiency levels is a key priority for Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Agriculture. Farming and food currently account for 24% of the country’s gross domestic product

Crops grown in Uzbekistan include wheat, potatoes, cotton, and tomatoes, plus a range of fruits and vegetables. Irrigation is used extensively across the country’s farming areas.

Cattle, sheep, and chickens are raised for meat. There are three million cows in Uzbekistan which produce an estimated five million litres of milk/year.

The visit to Ireland has been co-ordinated by ASK facilitator and former director of Teagasc Prof. Gerry Boyle, who explained why the group has come to Ireland.

“Ireland has an extremely well developed agricultural research, advisory and education system, targeting the specific needs of farmers,” he said.

“The group from Uzbekistan is here to gauge the feasibility of implementing programmes of this type.

“Driving all of this is the ability to communicate effectively with farmers. It was for this reason that the opportunity of meeting the Agriland team was deemed to be so important.”

“The visit is providing us with a tremendous opportunity to see how research and advice are made available to Irish agriculture,” Kholmirzaev Isroiljon Akramjonovich added.

“We also want to see and assess the role of digital media in communicating with farmers in Ireland.”

During its stay in Ireland, the Uzbek delegation will also visit a number of Teagasc locations and meet a number of Irish farm leaders.