Using part of the fresh produce to add value makes dried melons an attractive new export commodity for Uzbekistan.
In order to develop this international trade, open new export markets and generate revenue for producer communities, UNECE adopted the first international quality standard developed by Uzbekistan jointly with the support of the Central Asian Working Group on Quality Standards. This public-private expert group with technical working groups in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), UNECE, Hilfswerk Austria International and the German development agency GIZ. An important role is played by the Uzstandard agency in initiating the development of an international standard. This fruitful regional cooperation between four countries, global associations and donor agencies in the field of UNECE standards will prompt to the advancement of suitable training materials to prepare for the full launch and utilization of this standard from farmers to export and local markets.
Implementing the quality of dried melons in Uzbekistan and other producing countries will aid to introduce these products to export markets and consumers around the world. This will provide income generating and formal employment opportunities for local productive communities and traders, contributing to progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.