The importance of chicken for the Uzbek people
by Vladimir Rozanskij

President Mirziyoyev: poultry farming is fundamental for national life. Set "Soviet" production quotas. The chicken epic shows the illusory nature of presidential plans to "enrich the population".


Moscow (AsiaNews) - Šavkat Mirziyoyev made a solemn visit in recent days to the agricultural region of Kashkadar, where he was welcomed with the honors of a sultan by the population of the villages.  The president of Uzbekistan outlined his plan for the intensification of poultry farming for the next six years, in his opinion a fundamental step for national life.

In his words, "when will every man and every family in our country be able to have confidence in tomorrow? When he will be able to have profits, if he had one cow he will have two, one goat and it will be four, 50 chickens that will become 100." His statement literally reignited the race to increase poultry production in all Uzbek regions, and now all the "makhally" (farms) are competing to notify the central authorities of the increased rates from local farmers.

In the Andižan region, each makhallya has promised to provide a standard of 800 chickens, although it will not be easy to find enough buyers, because the "state" chickens have to win the competition of market prices. Many locals are given batches of chickens as a form of credit. In Pakhtabad province of Andižan region, activist groups have formed to distribute chickens door-to-door, especially trying to get rid of the less healthy ones.

A local woman told Ozodlik on condition of anonymity that "they try to scare away especially those waiting for family and child benefits, but none of us want these chickens, both because they are very expensive, over each compared to in the market, and because they are half-dead and do not last even a week."

The poor condition of the chickens is a consequence of the "intensive program" of 800 chickens per farm, and if the activists can't sell them they are forced to buy them out of their own pockets. They are questioned for hours each night to make sure they really sold the birds, and didn't throw them away somewhere. The presidential plan insists on the cooperative commitment of the farms, of clear Soviet memory, and foresees within a month the distribution of 20-100 chickens to at least 20 thousand people in each province.

In order to satisfy Mirziyoyev, many companies have made contracts with Belarusian suppliers, which more or less officially brought more than 2 million eggs from hens of "Tetra" breed. The cooperative chain to hatch and raise the chicks worked with considerable dysfunction, trying to rush to meet the demands of the plan, hence the poor quality of the final product. Since banks are unable to assist companies, the chickens were used as credit directly for citizens.

The epic of "Mirziyoyev's chickens" is showing the illusory nature of presidential plans of "enrichment of the population", which pass through socialist-style bureaucratic lines, and as in Soviet times produce false attestations at all levels of production. In the last six years dozens of resolutions and decrees have been signed and imposed to revive agricultural production, and in the poultry sector in this 2022 23 government documents have already been issued.