Uzbekistan: Starting Out Right
The agricultural and crop protection sector in Uzbekistan, a former Soviet republic, has only recently become privatized; previously, it was all part of the state government. Service companies and distributors dealing with crop protection products are a recent development, and play an important role in educating growers about chemicals, product use, and stewardship.
"It's like a child," explains Ifoda President Olim Isaev. "When you educate a child to do things correctly, they will do them correctly their entire life. This is a very new business, and people need to get started doing the right things."
The company is in a unique position; as a market leader with 30 percent of the Uzbek pesticides market, Ifoda can lead by example, making sure its customers are getting the correct information and the proper training -- and getting the country's crop protection industry started on the right foot.
Most of Ifoda's portfolio of insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides are DuPont products. DuPont, Isaev says, was the first company that came into the market and started to educate growers, distributors, and users about crop protection products. An initial part of Ifoda's business was to help growers learn about crop protection and get to know the products; when the Uzbekistani company began to distribute DuPont products, Ifoda not only continued to educate users about chemicals, but about stewardship and the environment as well.
Today, one of Ifoda's main areas of expertise is in IPM (integrated pest management) or biological pest control. The company works very closely with the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan to improve the machinery to create and distribute IPM applications, with the goal of reducing the number of chemical applications over the country's 4 million hectares of irrigated land.