Uzbek farmer dreams of entering Chinese market

TASHKENT, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) — Toji Rasulov, a farmer in Sherabad district of Uzbekistan’s southern Surkhandarya region, has been working on pomegranate plantations since the age of 13, inheriting the subtleties of pomegranate growing first from his grandfather, then his father.

Currently, at 60, he heads farming and agricultural company “Toji Rasulov Ltd” as an honored master of pomegranate growing, and dreams of selling his products to the Chinese market.

“Our main plan is now to enter the largest market of friendly China. We know that the Chinese market has its requirements that must be met. Currently we are working on this and trying to establish long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation with Chinese partners,” Rasulov said.

He is interested in advanced Chinese technology for processing, storing and packaging of agricultural products, and was planning to visit China to meet his partners to exchange experience and discuss ways of cooperation.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our plans. However, we are now communicating online, and waiting,” he said.

Rasulov plans to build a storage facility for pomegranates, expand the growing area to 1,000 hectares, and create a pomegranate cluster.

He said that although there are more than 20 varieties of pomegranates in Uzbekistan, pomegranates grown in Sherabad are of the highest quality due to the natural and climatic conditions of the region, its fertile land and the traditions of farming passed from generation to generation.

This is what attracts foreign customers, said Rasulov, whose company has been exporting its products to Russia and the Republic of Korea, as well as neighboring Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev pays special attention to the development of pomegranate farms, and ordered the creation of a Scientific Center for Pomegranate Growing in 2018, according to the Uzbek farmer.

“Today we are witnessing the dynamic development of mutually beneficial relations between China and Uzbekistan,” Rasulov said.

“During the official visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to Uzbekistan last November, an agreement on the export of agricultural products was signed and this opened up new export opportunities, including for pomegranates,” he added.

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