On October 28th and 29th, 2022, GGGI’s Business Development Platform (BDP) was launched in a two-day event in Nukus, Karakalpakstan Republic. The platform has been developed for smallholder and commercial farmers, MSMEs, and institutional enablers in the Aral Sea region and provides the information needed to conduct business in the agriculture and environmental sectors in the Aral Sea region.
The Business Development Platform is available as a website, www.greenaral.uz, and as an App, Jasilawil, in Karakalpak (currently the main target language), Russian, Uzbek, and partially in English. The information is divided into the sections E-learning, Agri-Business, Agri-Finance, Agri-Market, and Advisory Services and thereby supports day-to-day operations with a variety of training materials, info on locally relevant processors & buyers, market prices, sources of financing (bank loans and funds) and advisory services. Its use is meant to directly impact Karakalpakstan’s socio-economic development by empowering farmers and processors with a lot of high-quality information and advice accessible in a single location. As a part of the Aral Sea GRIP, the setup of the platform is largely funded by KOICA. It would not be online without the extensive and ongoing support of Consort Group LLC., German Sparkassenstifung, GIZ Eco-Aral, the State Committee for Ecology and Environmental Protection, and the Center for Policy Research and Outreach in the Westminster International University in Tashkent.
During the first event, the dinner on October 28th, government institution representatives, finance institutions, and NGO representatives were brought together. H.E. Mr. Rasul Polatovich Zaeikeev, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and KOICA representative Ms. Sunjin Park, warmly welcomed guests and held opening remarks. During the dinner break of the event, the GGGI team members discussed possible ways of incorporating the BDP app through partnerships.
During the second event early on October 29th, agri-entrepreneurs, farmers, dehkans (small farmers), and consultants were brought in from across 16 districts of Karakalpakstan. GGGI helped them install the Jasilawil app on their smartphones before the farmers connected with the BDP’s consultants in-person, to get ideas of how their businesses can grow and which support is available. H.E. Mr. Damir Joldasov, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Karakalpakstan (MIFT RK) delivered the day’s opening remarks. The country representative of GGGI in Uzbekistan, Dr. Aaron Russell, concluded both events by emphasizing the importance of having accessible e-platforms to enhance green development in the region now and in the future.
The Aral Sea GRIP Project is funded by KOICA and implemented by GGGI from 2021 to 2024.