NEWS AND EVENTS
February 18, 2014
An Ancient Land Looks to the Future
This time around, Uzbekistan Today reporters have made their way to the southernmost province of the country, that is, Surkhondaryo region, to see how 2.3 million Uzbeks live and work there.
The region’s area of 20.1 thousand kilometers has a unique topography. Central plains are bordered by Hissar ridge on the north, Baysuntau and Kugitangtau spurs in the west and north-west, by Babatag ridge in the east, and the Amudaryo valley in the south. As an administrative unit, Surkhondaryo has been registered in the present borders since 1941. The region consists of 13 administrative districts with the regional center in the city of Termiz. The climate is subcontinental, with warm winters and hot, dry, long summers. In the hottest days the thermometer surpasses the mark of 45 degrees Celsius. However, the weather here may be different. A week ago, it was cloudy, rainy, and then it was frosty and snowing. According to locals, they experienced a similar weather six years ago.
The Surkhondaryo oasis, and particularly the city of Termiz, ranks among the world\'s largest centers of development of modern civilization. This is evidenced by numerous archaeological sites in the region. The evidence found in the old Termiz, which is located near the modern one, proves that the city on the banks of the Oxus (Amudaryo) was known as the largest cultural, industrial and trade center already in the first millennium BC. Chess pieces made of ivory, dating back to the second century BC, were found in Dalvarzintepa. They are the oldest such articles discovered in the history of mankind.
Archaeological evidence shows that Termiz was a territory of formation and development of contemporary human beings. Many of the artifacts are exhibited in Central Asia’s only archaeological museum. It is noteworthy that the indigenous inhabitants cherish their bright and original traditions and customs that have been formed under the influence of millennia. The whole palette is reflected in folklore and applied arts.
As assigned by the office, I had a chance to visit this land a year and a half ago. Since then, the region has experienced big changes. First impressions appeared on the way from the airport. Roads have been reconstructed and improved. Villages are upgraded by high comfort standard design houses. High-rise residential complexes with first floor offices, service centers and shops grow in the cities. The region carries out an integrated program of socio-economic development of the region for 2013-2015. Last year, Surkhondaryo implemented 1,432 investment projects worth $121.8 million, of which $51.4 million were the bank loans. More than 17,000 people were employed as part of establishment of new jobs. Most of small business and entrepreneurship entities have tangibly contributed in the prosperity of the region.
675 projects worth $48.4 million were implemented in the services sector. Most of them covered trade, catering, and transport sectors. Development of financial, medical, computer, education, information and other service centers is underway. Boysun, Qumqurghon, Oltinsoy, Uzun and Sariosiyo districts offer comfortable hotels.
Surkhondaryo is the largest grain and cotton producer. The bigger share of the country’s fine-fiber cotton falls to local farmers. Today they focus on the increase of manufacture of food products. 434 projects were implemented in this direction. As a result, the number of cattle and poultry, and the territory of gardens and greenhouses has increased in the region. Beekeeping and fish farming is boosting.
Textile and light industries are flagship sectors. 81 projects out of a total of 323 completed projects were aimed at their development. Chemical and petrochemical, machine building, food, footwear, leather, furniture, pharmaceuticals, as well as construction materials industries are successfully developing. There are ten new types of goods. For example paints, polyethylene, plastic and men\'s shoes. Rich mineral resources are a good platform for further development of the production.
The region produces coal, oil, natural gas, salt, phosphate, nonferrous and precious metal ores. New ventures on the production of food salt, coal briquettes and construction materials were commissioned last year.
The region is open for cooperation. There are 49 progressive joint ventures. Foreign trade turnover last year amounted to $381,3 million, or 134.7 % YOY. The volumes of exported vegetables and fruits have doubled. The share of up-to-date high-tech equipment has grown in the volume of imports.
For 2014, the region plans to implement 448 projects worth $94.2 million, directed at rational use of the region’s capacity. Raw cotton processing plants are currently being built in Denov and Qumqurghon districts to give way to the manufacture of jerseys as finished products. Sariosiyo district is establishing a large factory on the manufacture of apparel and hosiery articles. A cement plant is being built in Sherobod. Shargunkumir coal mining company has been upgrading its facilities
Increasing Production Volumes
In 2013, Surkhondaryo region produced more than 214,000 eggs, which amounted to 112.9 % YOY. In the first quarter of 2014 it is planned to increase the production by at least 7%.
The region’s biggest poultry farm Marakand Denov Parand is an active participant of this process. Today it keeps 30,000 heads and produces up to 20,000 eggs daily.
“We plan to increase the population after the upgrade,” says Habibulla Orzakulov, the head of the farm. - In the summer we will replace the obsolete equipment with modern and energy-efficient.
SAVDOGARBANK has already issued a loan. Currently we are negotiating with Chinese manufacturers. Concurrently, we conclude contracts for the supply of vaccines and feed.
Garden under the Roof
28 greenhouses were built in the region on 14.9 hectares in 2013. Best farmer practices are widely applied.
The Iskandar Isroil farming enterprise of Jarqurghon district under the guidance of an experienced organizer and farmer Olim Ahatov is a striking example of active participation in the implementation of programs on supplying markets with vegetable products all year round.
“In greenhouses we annually gather two harvests of vegetables: late autumn and early spring. We also grow lemons,” says the head of the enterprise. “We apply the energy-efficient technologies. Climatic conditions of Surkhondaryo region allow us coping almost without gas and electricity. The sun, a natural source of heat and light, ‘works’ all year round.”
The majority of investment projects are aimed at increasing the number of cattle. 147 projects were successfully implemented, the herd has increased by almost two thousand heads, while the production of milk and meat increased by 7 percent and 6 percent, respectively.
The Kafolat Sarkor farming enterprise in Denov district nurtures about 300 heads of cattle, forty of which were purchased last year through the loan issued by the National Bank of Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan.
“Previously we bred Holsteins only, and this time we bought Simmental cows, so we want to see which one is more productive,” said the head of the farm Ulugbek Mamarahimov.
Another investment project on the establishment of milk processing plant will be implemented this year. The rural entrepreneur intends to implement it at his own funds.
Tiny Yet Mighty
The gardens based on intensive technologies grow from year to year.
Last year the farmers implemented 22 projects, which increased the area of orchards by 125.7 hectares.
They apply various technologies to get the first harvest in the first two or three years. Surkhondaryo leads in the application of the so-called grid technology of intensive gardening. The method is about covering the whole plantation with a special grid in certain periods. As experts say, it helps to protect the plants from the scorching sun and nasty weather and yield beautiful fruits.
Farmers plan to apply a drip irrigation - another new technology for the region. It will help saving water and fertilizers, and fertilize plants at the right time and in the required dosage, which is important for a good harvest.
From Artificial Pond
Building and stocking new artificial reservoirs is underway. 78 projects were successfully implemented last year alone.
Bobokul Urokov manages a breeding farm. On four hectares of artificial reservoir he has developed a technology of growing carp, grass carp and silver carp from hutchlings to commercial weight.
In the future he projects to establish incubators, grow hutchlings and supply them to fish farms of the region, which is also a very profitable business.
Reconstruction of the textile complex is reaching its completion in Jarqurghon district
The industrial complex was established in 1983 initially as a branch of Bukhoro weaving factory. Five years later it received the status of an independent enterprise, manufacturing yarn and heavy muslin. In 2004, new owners and investors started reorganization and upgrade. Today, two enterprises operate under one structure.
Engaged in the manufacture of yarn, Surkhontex was the first to complete its upgrade. The obsolete equipment was replaced by new digitally controlled technologies, which provided a high quality product.
“The factory employs 574 specialists. Annually we process up to four thousand tons of cotton,” says Ghayrat Rahmatov, one of the oldest employees. “Our production is in demand in the world market. 90% of the yarn is exported. Czech, Japanese, Turkish and Russian companies are our major customers.”
The upgrade is almost over at Telteks too. The demand was carefully studied before purchasing new equipment. As a result, it was decided to start manufacturing a wide range of cotton fabrics for shirts and other textile products instead of heavy muslin.
“Installation of new textile machinery is in full swing, national experts work together with their foreign colleagues,” commented Ghayrat Rahmatov. “We plan to release the first fabric by Navruz.”
It is expected that the launch of Telteks will change the list of customers of Surkhontex. Half of the yarn produced will go to weaving.
It is planned to establish dye and print shops, as well as garment manufacture on the territory of the complex in the years to come.
Charogontekstil, a new sewing enterprise in Jarqurghon district, has released the first batch of products.
The garment factory was built by Uzbekenergo with an eye to world experience and climatic features of the area. The company employs 200 people. They are provided with all the conditions for work and rest: dining room, showers, recreation rooms.
It is one of the first companies in the country which uses solar collectors instead of energy carriers to meet its needs in hot water.
Production workshops are equipped with modern equipment of the Japanese company Juki. Natural cotton by leading domestic manufacturers is used as a raw material.
The company\'s director Muhabbat Kayumova introduces her enterprise:
“The first sewing workshop is designed for sewing a wide range of men\'s, women\'s and children\'s knitted garments. In the future we plan to reach the manufacture of more than two million items of various articles. The second workshop is designed for the production of 97,000 sets of uniforms and 227,000 sets of bed linen.
We are able to sew not only to ready templates, but also introduce our own designs. The designer tailors different models. It is impossible to enter the competitive market without design service.
In the long term we plan to work not only on the orders of Uzbekenergo enterprises. Our production enjoys big demand so we intend to meet it in full.
Currently we are finalizing certain organizational issues, including an uninterrupted supply of raw materials. I expect that we reach the full capacity later this year.
Bakhtiyor Sherov, Head of Nurbek Mirza Muhammad farm in Denov district was conferred the title of ‘Golden Farmer’ for eight times.
“When a person likes his job the success comes on its own,” said the rural entrepreneur. “The awards our farm was conferred are the merit of the whole team.”
The farmer was honored high awards and rewards for high yields of cotton: the farm has been producing not less than 45 tons per hectare for the last few years. The farmer also grows corn. We found him in the field when he was inspecting good and even sprouts of winter wheat.
Crops of potatoes and vegetables go up. Several years ago the farm launched cattle breeding for dairy production.
In the near future it is planned to establish a milk processing plant. The construction of the shop is almost over, the farm is expecting a delivery of equipment.
“Every day we produce up to 300 liters of milk, and it’s hard to sell it out in few hours. Milk is a perishable product, and we have a hot climate,” says Bakhtiyor Sherov. “So we are going to produce pasteurized packaged milk, sour cream, clotted cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, yogurt, and various cheeses in the future. All these products are highly demanded in the market.”
The economy has its own fleet of agricultural machinery: tracked and wheeled tractors. There are the plans to purchase some additional machinery.
The entrepreneur pays great attention to the implementation of social projects. In addition to salary, all employees are supplied with grain, milk and other products as a bonus. As a motivation, the manager assists in purchasing houses. The best waterier has been recently awarded Nexia for his selfless work. Much is being done for the village as well. For example, the farm renovated school ¹ 85, and sponsored local sports college. This year, the farm is planning to build a health unit.
All this once again proves that a successful farmer is a reliable support for rural development.
Investing in Progress
200 out of 448 investment projects aimed at the development of manufacture in the region will be implemented in the building materials industry this year.
The industry took the lead in the number of projects last year as well – 130 of them. There are some new trends in the manufacture of new building materials. For example, small enterprises Dahbed and Safar Jura Bahram in Sherobod and Boysun districts established the production of corrugated board, and Sohib Suhrob Sardor manufactures paints and varnishes.
Local sources of natural raw materials are being developed. The construction of a cement plant in Sherobod district, the first in the south of Uzbekistan, is a case in point.
The share of food industry in the gross regional product is big, for its enterprises operate on local raw materials.
Last year the region carried out 67 investment projects covering almost all areas of the food industry. For example, Sariosiyo Elektrosoz in Sariosiyo district launched the production of iodized table salt.
This year it is scheduled to implement 122 investment projects, including the commissioning of workshops and enterprises on the production of milk, meat, confectionery, bakery. There are business ideas and projects on the establishment of modern manufactures of canned fruits and vegetables.
A Host of Coal
Coal deposits are located in Tashkent and Surkhondaryo regions only. Therefore, the further renewal of production facilities of Shargunkumir remains pressing.
As part of the upgrade in 2010, the company purchased equipment for surface and underground works, and transportation means. As a result, coal production has doubled to 200 thousand tons a year.
This year, it is planned to carry out the projects on purchasing new machinery and equipping mines, which are expected to increase coal production several times.
New Industries to Come
Investment projects gave impetus to the development of new industries.
Petrochemistry has been intensively developing of late.
Jarqurghonneftqaytaishlash is engaged in the processing of oil it is extracting. Small enterprises on the manufacture of polyethylene, plastic products and household chemicals appear in the region.
Furniture industry has been rapidly developing. Some five or six years ago there were no furniture producers in the region. Nowadays there are few of them.
Modern animal husbandry preconditioned for the leather and footwear industry. For example, Denov Ravnak Kamoli private enterprise manufacturing men\'s shoes opened in Denov district last year.
Mechanization of the agricultural sector, development of road transport, establishment of modern high-tech enterprises promoted the development of engineering and production of spare parts. These enterprises are mainly engaged in the manufacture of spare parts and repairs.
Pharmaceutics is a new sector of the economy in the region. One related project was implemented last year, and two projects are scheduled for the current year.
Much attention has been paid to the development of healthcare system. Medical institutions introduce advanced diagnostics and treatment technologies.
There are 244 rural health units and 61 hospital with in-patient facilities, a branch of the Republican Center for Emergency Medical Aid, and a branch of the Republican Center of Therapy and Rehabilitation. The region runs dozens of sanatorium facilities, offering mineral water and salt-based treatment. There is a famous health resort - the salt mountain of Hodjaikon. Speleotherapy is very good for bronchopulmonary diseases. Each institution implements its own extensive range of measures aimed at upgrading the logistical capacity and introducing new advanced diagnostics and treatment technologies.
We visited the regional diversified medical center that was established in 2008.
“An advisory clinic with a diagnostics unit and 23 specialized medical rooms, a reception, 11 surgical and eight therapy departments outfitted with the latest medical equipment make up the structure of our center,” says Chief Doctor Norali Hidaev. “We have experienced scaled changes in recent years. A modern three-storey complex provides optimal conditions for surgical units. The building of reception and advisory department was renovated. This year we plan to reconstruct two more medical buildings.
We strive to create a center operated by modern energy saving equipment,” said the chief doctor. “Last year, the surgical building was equipped with solar panels that ensure an uninterrupted power supply of equipment in operating and emergency rooms.
The clinic is equipped with the new diagnostic and therapeutic hardware. We received the latest equipment for digitizing X-ray photos and new high resolution ultrasound diagnostics scanner. We also recently received three hemodialysis devices (artificial kidney). They currently undergo installation and commissioning procedures.
This year marks the launch of the joint project of Ministry of Health of Uzbekistan and the German KfW-bank on equipping the center with up-to-date medical devices. The equipment will enable us to treat patients by the technologies that are widely used in national specialized centers. The endovisual devices to perform operations on chest and abdomen will enhance the diagnostic accuracy and reduce the risk of postoperative complications. The urologists will receive a lithotripter, which removes stones from the kidney without incisions. The kidney stones are disintegrated and then egested in a natural way by a special shock wave generated by the device.
I would like to note that the equipment will be supplied to every department. We hope to become a leading center in the development of high-tech medicine in two or three years.”
Everything Conducive for Study and Leisure
Over half a million boys and girls are enrolled in schools, colleges, lyceums and universities
The reconstruction of Termiz State University (TSU) is underway with an eye to its huge role in the development of educational and economic sectors, preservation of customs and traditions.
The University was founded in 1992 on the basis of local pedagogical institute. This educational institution makes a huge contribution in providing the region with teaching staff. Today, there are 295 nursery schools, 858 secondary schools, 116 colleges, 16 children\'s music and art schools, 15 Barkamol Avlod centers in the region. And there is no institution that would not employ TSU graduates. The university’s specificity and availability of numerous archaeological sites in the region have created favorable conditions for scientists who study the history and ethnography of the region. Jointly with the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences and foreign colleagues the leading TSU experts participated in the excavation of such monuments as the Old Termiz, Arabulak and many others. That is why the first new building was built in 2009 specifically for pedagogical and historical departments.
Classes in the new building are held with the application of modern teaching and laboratory equipment: computers, interactive whiteboards, video projectors. One can often hear the melodies of national and European musical instruments or meet young people in traditional national dress, which are the part of folklore classes. There is a student ethnographic ensemble Jayhun. In their skills the young talents do not yield to members of professional ethnographic ensemble Bulbuliguyo, which represents the Surkhondaryo folklore at many national events.
“A professional capable to pass all the subtleties of national creativity on to future generations can be trained only through the art,” said Vice-Rector Shopulat Shohaydarov. “The teachers of history undergo a mandatory field training on the excavations of ancient settlements in the region.
As a follow up, the University built premises for Philological and Economic Departments, reconstructed the building of Mathematics and Physics and the Natural History – Geography Departments. A new winter gym will promote quality teacher training at the Physical Education Department, and serve for physical education classes in students from other departments.
New information and resource center is to start operating in the near future. Installation of modern equipment and arrangement of the library stock is currently underway is the specially designed building. The readers will actively use information and communication technologies.
Step by step the university’s area has evolved into a modern campus providing the conditions not only for study and research, but also for students\' leisure.
Reconstruction of Engineering and Chemistry Department is scheduled for the current year. Along with the teaching staff the department trains specialists in transportation, storage and processing of agricultural products.
“The region is intensively upgrading its educational institutions and enterprises. The reconstruction of the University is conditioned by the need in the facilities that provide training in accordance with the requirements of the time,” concluded the vice-rector. “Today we stake on the development of science. We intend to participate in solution of scientific tasks on the orders of certain enterprises, thus promoting the quality of training of young specialists.
History in Details
In the last twelve years, the number of exhibits in Termiz Archaeological Museum has more than doubled, and now exceeds 83 thousand. All this is the result of ongoing archaeological excavations and research works.
Surkhondaryo residents enjoy an eventful cultural life. The regional administration has launched a program of reconstruction and development of culture and art houses. The puppet and musical-drama theater is working on new productions. Parks develop their infrastructure, there is a zoo. Central Asia’s first and only Archaeological Museum is assigned a special part, for it keeps a unique collection that covers almost all periods of human evolution.
Every year the museum is visited by about 50,000 people. Director Ismoil Botirov provided a tour for a special project of Uzbekistan Today.
“Let\'s start with the entrance, where we have a relief map marking 20 largest archaeological sites dating back to different periods of the region’s history. There is a layout of Old Termiz wall with gate in the back part of the hall. The showcases demonstrate big artifacts - statues of plaster and stone, a diversity of household pottery. The most valuable discoveries include the head of a prince found in Dalvarzintepa, head of a Kushon warrior from Halchayan, tiered stone Buddha from Fayaztepa, ceramic bath from Kurganzol and stone chapiter with the image of an elephant from the old town. There is a diversity of ceramic jugs for food storage, dating from the 15th century BC to the 15th century AD. There is a hall of jewelry and coins on the ground floor with exhibits made of gold, silver and brass of different years. They reflect the history, culture and customs of the peoples not only of Surkhondaryo, but of the whole world.
The rest of the exhibition is available on the second floor. Each of nine rooms is dedicated to a particular era. The exposition is represented mainly by artifacts from excavations and layouts.
The first room is dedicated to Surkhondaryo oasis in the Stone Age. The town of Teshiktosh and the Machala Cave are the earliest monuments of this period. There are traces of habitation of Neanderthals, which suggest that the territory of present-day Uzbekistan was part of a zone of formation of modern human physical type.
The Bronze Age is the era of cities, scripts, first states, establishment of extensive trade contacts. A highly developed agriculture, called a ‘sappalin culture’ by scientists, was formed in the foothill zone of Surkhondaryo region.
The age of Bactria For is featured by the development of crafts and trade, and the growth of various types of settlements. Qiziltepa and Mirshadi settlements are most remarkable.
Further the exposition peresents the culture of Bactria in the era of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic states. That was the time of origination of known settlements of Dalvarzintepa, Jandavlattepa, Hayitabad, and development of commodity-money relations.
The fifth room of the museum is dedicated to the Kushan culture, which is represented in Surkhondaryo by outstanding monuments of world significance: Khalchayan, Buddhist monasteries in Koratepa, Fayaztepa, Ayritam.
The next room demonstrates the culture of North Tokharistan in the early Middle Ages. The house of Bolaliktepa with a majestic mural depicting a scene of feasting is an outstanding monument of that period. The visitor’s eye is captured by female decorations, silver coins of Ephtalites, and other objects.
The beginning of the ninth century was marked by the revival of local statehood first by Taharids, and then Samanids. The change of material, artistic and spiritual culture takes place at the turn of the 8-9th centuries. Irrigation, new types of buildings are flourishing. Glazed ceramics, glassmaking, steel-making and chasing reach the high level of development.
The museum well represents the culture of Termiz and Chaganian in the age of Amir Temur and his dynasty. That was the time of new towns and villages. The region experienced an economic upturn, and the boost of trade. The role of Termiz as a transport artery linking Central Asia with India has increased after inclusion of northern India into the state.
The exposition is crowned by Surkhondaryo of 16-20th centuries. This is the time of new architectural monuments such as Sayid Otalyk madrassah in Denov, Murchbobo mosque in Termiz and Iskandar bridge in Qumqurghon. The showcases demonstrate Sheibanid coins, lamps, vessels and household articles of copper and iron.
Health in the region protected by 3,541 doctors and 21,573 nurses
Strong not only in Kurash
Surkhondaryo region is considered a birthplace of Kurash. The locals love this kind of sports, warmly host international and national competitions, and proudly represent the country abroad.
Held every two years, the At-Termizi tournament in Kurash is the most striking and large traditional international competition. Amateurs of this kind of sports come from around the world to participate in the festival agility, strength and skills. The Kurash complex with special rings for training and battles is a unique structure. It hosts big national competitions.
Surkhondaryo athletes are strong not only in Kurash. Today, the native athletes make up national teams and represent the country in international competitions in judo, boxing and athletics. Last year alone, they won 35 awards in various denominations, including 13 gold.
The success achieved by judoka Lutfullo Sharafitdinov is considered here as the highest sporting achievement in recent years. He finished the second at the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.
Local authorities pay much attention to mass sports, involvement of the youth in gymnastics. With this purpose they regularly strengthen the logistical capacity.
“126 children\'s sports facilities, including junior sports schools have been built and reconstructed in the region. This year we work on eight more facilities. We assign a big part both to construction works and equipping the new complexes with necessary tools,” says Fakhritdin Abdurasulov, Director of the regional branch of the Children\'s Sports Development Fund. “I am glad that farmers and businessmen are getting actively involved in the movement on development of children\'s sports.”
18 out of 38 kinds of sports are most popular in the region. National kinds - turon, Kurash, belt wrestling and ulok-kupkari – are revived and developed.
“We are trying to provide the conditions to enable everyone to choose something to his liking. 4,375 sports facilities can concurrently place more than 67 thousand people,” says Abdugaffor Buriev, head of the Regional Culture and Sports Administration. “There are 30 stadiums, 599 gyms, six swimming pools, a race track, 592 basketball, 1,184 volleyball, 456 handball playgrounds, 61 tennis courts, 787 football fields, 297 athletics complexes and 72 complexes for different sports.”
Entrepreneurs are of great help. They build playgrounds, and then rent them out hourly to sports fans. Ten grounds were launched last year in Termiz, Boysun, Denov, Qumqurghon, Muzrobod and Sherobod districts, which are in great demand in the population.