UZBEKISTAN, Tashkent- Representatives of the Embassy of Uzbekistan in the Benelux countries, together with the Agency for attracting foreign investments under the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade and responsible persons of the khokimiyats of Bukhara, Kashkadarya, Navoi and Khorezm regions held online negotiations with the leaders of the Dutch company PlantLab, Dunyo news agency reported.
During the meeting, Dutch businessmen said that PlantLab was established in 2005 and specializes in vertical farming.
It offers the possibility of year-round cultivation of almost all types of plants in isolated conditions, without sun and soil, with 90% water savings. The yield is tens of times greater than when grown in field or greenhouse conditions. Grow containers can be installed in almost any location.
The technology of “vertical farming” is especially in demand in areas experiencing water shortages. So, if in an open field for growing 1 kilogram of lettuce leaves, 250 liters of water are required, and the yield is 4 kilograms of products per 1 square meter, in greenhouse conditions, 20 liters of water are required to obtain 1 kilogram of the crop, and the yield of 1 square meter is 41 kilograms … In a “vertical farming” environment, 1 kilogram of crop requires 1 liter of water, while the yield is up to 120 kilograms per square meter.
Currently, the company’s products are supplied to a number of supermarkets and restaurants in the largest cities in the Netherlands. The company plans to bring revenue to 1 billion euros in the next 10 years.
Speaking about the prospects for cooperation, the interlocutors expressed their readiness to study with the Uzbek side the possibility of implementing a project to create a production facility in the republic for growing agricultural products based on “vertical farming” technologies. Based on his experience, the interlocutor noted that for a start they are ready to implement a pilot project worth about 2 million euros.
According to them, within the framework of this project, they could share their knowledge, experience and technologies in such areas as sowing seeds, rational use of water resources, and the use of chemical components.
In addition, at the initial stage, it is advisable to determine the needs for the types and volumes of products grown in the future. It is necessary to work out and agree in advance with the supermarket chain of Uzbekistan the conditions for purchasing the grown products.
The representative of the khokimiyat of Bukhara region spoke about the potential of the region, as well as the activities of the free economic zone “Bukhara-agro”, which created conditions and a system of benefits for foreign investors. He proposed to implement a pilot project on the territory of the FEZ and expressed his readiness to find a local partner and provide all kinds of assistance in the implementation of this project.
The representative of the Kashkadarya regional khokimiyat spoke in detail about the initiative of the regional authorities to create an Uzbek-Dutch agro-industrial center in the city of Karshi, which is proposed to be carried out with the involvement of experienced specialists and large companies from the Netherlands. On the basis of the Center, it is planned to establish a system of training Uzbek farmers in the field of gardening, greenhouse business and others, as well as create a platform for the exchange of experience between specialists from the two countries. The Kashkadarya side also offered the PlantLab managers to implement a pilot project in their region.
The Dutch side expressed its readiness to visit Uzbekistan in the near future to study the situation on the spot, conduct negotiations with potential local partners. As a result of the videoconference, an agreement was reached to work out the visit of the PlantLab delegation to Uzbekistan approximately in the second half of September this year as the epidemiological situation improves.
Source and Photo Courtesy of Horticulture.pk