Since 2011, the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) has supported cold storage in Uzbekistan. The country has witnessed substantial growth in refrigerated warehouse capacity from only 258,000 cubic meters in 2010 to 3.5 million cubic meters in 2016. Horticulture exports jumped in 2016 alone by 38 percent, to more than 800,000 tons of fruit and vegetables.
Building off this work, GCCA was invited by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded Competitiveness, Trade, and Jobs (CTJ) project to provide solutions to enhance the capacity and understanding of the cold chain in Central Asia. CTJ works in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. To complete this assignment, GCCA Vice President of International Programs Richard Tracy traveled to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan with Technical Experts Dick Dowdell and Brian Fox to meet with cold chain stakeholders. The team benefitted by attending the 2017 Central Asia Trade Forum in Kazakhstan’s capital city of Almaty, which allowed them to meet with representatives from the various countries.
This was the first time that Brian Fox participated with GCCA on a development project. When asked about the experience, he noted that he would highly recommend involvement from other GCCA members as there is a huge need for expertise; it is an opportunity to significantly impact emerging cold chains; and people are eager to learn. Mr. Fox had not anticipated that the opportunity to help would be as large as it is.
The report for the CTJ project is in progress now, but overall, training and education were determined to be the major needs. With the nearby markets of Russia and China imported horticulture produce, Central Asia has great potential to follow the lead of Uzbekistan and increase its capacity to maintain the cold chain.
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