TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN – Discussions are being held between Russia and Uzbekistan about a possible agreement that would allow Uzbek farmers to grow crops on Russian soil, Akipress.com reported on Oct. 4.

The report, citing Uzbekistan Minister of Agriculture Jamshid Hojaev, noted that the discussions have taken place at the level of the Ministry of Agriculture and another meeting in October is scheduled.

Uzbekistan seeks to rent 1 million hectares of land in Russia which would yield approximately 2.5 million tonnes of grain, Akipress.com reported.

Uzbekistan, a landlocked country, has a shortage of arable land and water resources which limits its agricultural potential.

Primarily a wheat producer, Uzbekistan in the 2020-21 marketing year, produced 6.5 million tonnes of wheat on 1.4 million hectares while importing 3.7 million tonnes.

Since 2017-18, Uzbekistan’s wheat ending stocks have fallen well below 2 million tonnes per year, including a low of 1.4 million in 2019-20.

Uzbekistan is among the world’s leading wheat flour importers, taking in an estimated 600,000 tonnes (wheat equivalent) in 2020-21.