Press Release

EU-UNESCO encapsulated preliminary results of the project to support the agricultural sector in Uzbekistan

11 January 2021

  • A two-day National Workshop within the context of the “Skills development for employability in rural areas of Uzbekistan” project was launched today with the participation of national experts from across the country.

The workshop is hosted by the European Union, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan (MHSSE) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Photo: © UNESCO, Uzbekistan

In July 2020, The European Union (EU) provided a 9.6 million EUR contribution to the “Skills development for employability in rural areas of Uzbekistan” project, which will be implemented by UNESCO within the period of 2020-2024. The project will contribute to improving the quality, relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of the skills development system in the agriculture and irrigation sectors in four selected regions of Uzbekistan (Karakalpakstan, Khorazm, Bukhara and Surkhondaryo). The project is aligned with the Uzbekistan Agriculture Modernization Project that was launched in the 20-th of December 2019 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Uzbekistan Agroindustry and Food Security Agency (UZAIFSA).

Through this project, UNESCO continues providing assistance in developing, testing and piloting new initiatives and approaches, including the training of teachers and trainers in the agriculture and irrigation sectors. The provided assistance is expected to contribute to scaling up transversal methods, high-technology agriculture and food processing, and innovative approaches throughout the country.

The purpose of the workshop is to share and discuss the preliminary findings on needs assessment and analysis of the status of skills development in agriculture and irrigation in the four selected regions in Uzbekistan; the latest developments in agricultural education and training implied by Presidential decrees; and the draft structure of the Project Inception Report.

Due to the limitations and restrictions imposed by COVID-19, the workshop is being held through the use of an online platform and features representatives both from UNESCO Headquarters and the UNESCO Tashkent Office, the European Union, ministries concerned and other relevant stakeholders, embassies, international organizations and development partners, relevant universities, as well as representatives of the media.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, both the EU representative  François Begeot, Head of Cooperation Unit, and the UNESCO representative in Uzbekistan Jan Hladík, underscored the importance of the project for the well-being of the population of Uzbekistan and the modernization of agriculture.

On the first day of the event, UNESCO experts presented the preliminary findings on needs assessment and the analysis of the status of skills development in agriculture and irrigation and set the foundations of a meaningful and fruitful national dialogue. The participants engaged in a lively Q&A exchange with the experts which was supported by several interesting facts and figures from the recently completed field missions. In particular, global climate change, population growth and the development of sectors of the economy of Uzbekistan cause an annual increase in their need for water, as a result of which the shortage of water resources increases from year to year. Over the past 15 years, per capita water availability has declined from 3,048 cubic meters to 1,589 cubic meters. To address these and other challenges, the republic is taking significant steps, for the effective implementation of which it is necessary to develop the necessary skills in water management. This, in turn, requires further improvement of the skills development system in agriculture and water management.

On the second day, the participants will receive a synopsis of the National Qualifications Framework in Uzbekistan as well as the national political and legal developments and how they align with the project activities and objectives. Finally, the workshop will close with a discussion and agreement on the structure of the Project Inception Report, one of the fundamental documents for planning and implementing activities.

About the Project

“Skills Development in Rural Areas of Uzbekistan” is aimed to enhance the living standards in rural areas through better employability. The specific objective is to equip women and men in Uzbekistan with relevant skills for a sustainable, diversified and modernised agriculture. The expected outputs are: 1) VET (Vocational Education and Training) policy implementation supported and governance arrangements modernised, strengthened and adapted to the evolution of the agriculture and irrigation sectors; 2) VET qualifications and methodology modernised to serve the needs of the labour market and women and men learners and workers in the agriculture sector; 3) Efficient VET colleges with competent management and teaching staff able to use modern equipment, technologies and learning methods.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

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