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Carl Collen


Uzbek export ban cuts growers' earnings

A bumper fruit crop in the first half of the year will not mean additional income from sales to traditional export markets Russia and Kazakhstan

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Higher yields fruit and vegetables in Uzbekistan are providing little extra income for farmers as the country's export ban remains in place, although domestic prices have stabilised since the ban's introduction earlier in the year

The Uzbek Ministry of Agriculture and Water has reported that year-on-year fruit production in the country has increased by 15.1 per cent during the first half of the year as a result of warm spring temperatures

However, state news agency UzA reported that exports of food and agricultural products had been prohibited in order to safeguard domestic supply ahead of the autumn and winter, meaning exporters have been unable to take advantage and sell excess produce

Agricultural observers told UzA that the ban has meant a large loss of income that would usually come from sales to neighbouring central Asian countries, where prices are higher

"We are forced to content ourselves with minimum earnings, when we had been expecting to earn more by selling vegetables, apricots, peaches, grapes and watermelons at markets in Kazakhstan," one Uzbek grower said

Statistics from the Uzbek Ministry of Agriculture and Water said that of the 10m tonnes of fruit and vegetables produced in the country each year, approximately 30 per cent is exported to Russia and Kazakhstan.

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