Uzpakhtasanoatexport Holding Company has scheduled several investment projects in the next few years to bring the country’s cotton industry to a new level
The objectives of the Action Strategy along Five Priority Areas in 2017-2021, initiated by the head of state, underlie the abovementioned initiatives.
Specific measures on the implementation of the main thrusts of the Strategy have been taken within the framework of the Cotton Industry Development Concept in Uzbekistan. The document has defined system indicators of the industry’s capacity on 16 basic directions, set target goals to increase its returns to the economy, upgrade industry enterprises, ensure localization and import substitution of previously imported products, and actively attract foreign investments.
The cotton industry of the republic has managed to make certain progress over the short period of time since the establishment of the company. In particular, the Uzbek cotton has strengthened its positions in traditional outlets, and has opened up new markets in Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam. The holding company has joined the International Cotton Association, the Bremen Cotton Exchange, and other cotton associations and stock exchanges.
Owing to the measures on streamlining of the raw cotton procurement system and optimization of machinery and primary cotton processing technology in 2016, the total share of high fiber grades ‘Oliy’ and ‘Yakhshi’ was 92% of the total volume of cotton fiber, which is 10% higher YOY. More than 99% of the total volume of fiber produced ranges between 3.5 and 4.9 points of the micronaire index, as acceptable by international requirements. The range of the fiber length has expanded. Thus, the share of fiber code 37 increased in the 2016 season from 21% to 23%, and type 4 fibers accounted for 85%.
Implementation of technical extension programs in the oil and fat industry and introduction of differentiated grade acceptance systems into processing of technical cotton seeds has improved quality of seeds and increased the yield of crude oil. Quality of technical cotton seeds has been tending to improve. For instance, the share of the best quality first-grade seeds of the higher class was 76.4% in 2016, which is more than 10% higher YOY. The quality of cottonseed oil has fundamentally improved, and its color was ensured at the standard of five red units, which corresponds to the world’s leading standards. The manufacture of packaged vegetable oils has increased. An increase in oil output by 1.3% brought an additional profit of 10 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 14.07.2017, 1$= 4014.50 soums).
The company attaches a great deal of importance to the introduction of modern information and communication technologies into production processes. The establishment of Monitoring Centers and introduction of an integrated information system of computerized accounting of preparation and sowing of cottonseed and other oilseeds, their sorting, as well as implementation of scheduled agrotechnological operations have already been completed. Accounting covers more than 50,000 farms engaged in the cultivation of cotton and oilseeds.
Monitoring programs for processing raw cotton and preparation of cotton seeds for sowing were introduced to sustain financial accounting and reporting, staff management, prompt control over the production and technology workflow. Similar systems of obtaining prompt online data were introduced into technological processes of cotton plants, oil mills, as well as at cotton terminals.
The procedure of acceptance of raw cotton at harvesting stations has changed since the harvesting season of 2016. Advantages of information and communication technologies have allowed organizing the acceptance of raw cotton from farmers with automatic weight fixing and instrumental measurement of quality indicators for each individual lot. The register of mandatory procedures now includes specialized labeling of raw cotton, depending on the type of collection – manual or machine. Aiming to increase the competitiveness and liquidity of Uzbek cotton fiber in the world market, the company teamed up with the International Finance Corporation and launched a pilot project on the introduction of the standard of sustainable development of cotton growing in Ferghana and Jizzakh regions of the republic, based on the BCI principles (Better Cotton Initiative).
Well-equipped laboratories were established at each Uzpakhtaexport terminal as part of practical improvement of quality control system and amount of cotton fiber to be shipped. Another subdivision, Uzpakhtayogh holding company, established a Technical Seed Quality Surveillance Center Sifat-Chigit to ensure control over seed production, quality, safety and rational use in cotton ginneries, as well as measures on assessment and improvement of cottonseed oil quality.
All 98 cotton mills, 23 oil and fat factories, 21 cotton terminals in the cotton industry undergo modernization, overhaul, reconstruction and technical extension. Research, academic, design and engineering organizations and machine-building enterprises of Uzbekistan are actively involved in the development of equipment complexes of new generation. The Investment Program for 2017 envisages the implementation of 34 projects with estimated $27.2 million of investments.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)