Uzbekistan as an emerging player in the Eurasian wheat belt region: Opportunities and challenges

Following the 1991 independence, Uzbekistan launched a program of national grain self-sufficiency supplemented by state subsidies and production targets. This policy measure also turned Uzbekistan from a wheat importer into an exporting country. Grounded on a throughout analysis of the post-1991 data and literature, we reconstruct the development trends in wheat sector of Uzbekistan and analyze whether it can emerge as a new player in food security in the Eurasian wheat belt region. The analysis and the discussions in the study suggest that the country has a potential to become an important supplier of wheat to neighboring countries. Although high-quality rainfed wheat is available from Kazakhstan, the central location and good road connections to the neighboring countries as well as less volatile wheat production under irrigation can provide some comparative advantages to Uzbek wheat producers. However, it is difficult to foreseen the further increase in wheat exports without the state procurement mechanism and interventions in the supply chains. Further improvement of the current procurement mechanism with introduction of market-based intensives to wheat producers is required to increase the production quality and efficiencies and the sustainability of wheat supply chain.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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