The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has today (Thursday, August 3) agreed to work more closely with Uzbekistan’s Chamber of Commerce in the fight against food insecurity.

The decision follows a previous collaboration with the nation’s Ministry of Agriculture, which saw the establishment of a new International Agriculture University in the country’s capital of Tashkent. It opened last September.

The Cirencester-based university said the new partnership comes at a time of “great food insecurity” in Eastern Europe.

It hopes that this new partnership will enhance food security in Central Asia by improving both the production of food within Uzbekistan and the country’s food exports.

RAU vice-chancellor, Prof. Peter McCaffrey, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the chair of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, Davron Vakhobov, at the Uzbekistan embassy in London back in 2021.

The MoU being signed. Image: RAU

“We are delighted to be working with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Uzbekistan,” McCaffrey said.

“Food constitutes $1.5 billion of Uzbekistan’s exports and this new partnership broadens and deepens our relationship with the country in ways that will enhance international food security – at a time of great uncertainty in Ukraine – while increasing choice and quality for the UK consumer.

“This partnership will provide invaluable experience for our researchers and students as well as the opportunity to make a real practical difference on the ground.”

The RAU said the relationship plans to specifically support Uzbek farmers and exporters in “all aspects” of food production, from source to the marketplace, as well as looking at ways to optimise water management and distribution to enhance agricultural productivity.

It will also help to train, develop, and support Uzbek food producers and exporters to access the UK food market, it said.