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Can melons and rice be grown in Latvia? Cross-country scientific experiment starting spring of 2023

Image author: No LLU arhīva

Year 2023 spring will begin with a cross-Country experiment between Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technologies (LBTU) and Tashkent State Agriculture University (TSAU). The goal of this project is to find or create a breed of rice and melons that are capable of growing in our northern hemosphere environment.

Since most soil in Latvia is more alkaline than acidic the project will have to find a way to adapt specific conditions for the growth of rice. This will be done using fertilizers.

Creating acidic soil is not the only challenge. It is not a secret that growing rice requires a lot of water. This means the project will either have to find a geographicaly low place or artificially irrigate  to reach the specific conditions for ultimate result.

TSAU will submit a project application for funding from the Fund of the Ministry of Innovative Development of Uzbekistan in two months time. Chances to receive funding are high due to the complete support from Uzbekistan’s ministry of agriculture. LBTU is not only expanding our cooperation in terms of Higher Educational studies, but also investing into research with other partner countries.

After the green light given by the Ministry of Innovative Development rice  saplings and melon seeds will be sent to LBTU where Uzbek Master and PhD students will begin work to test not only before mentioned methods of growth, but also to conduct other tests that will approve or disprove the theory that due to the changing climate it is time to adapt to our new environment and consider growing crops from Central Asia region. Despite the results both countries will have new data regarding this issue and will only streinghten the collaboration between both universities and countries.

Submitted on: 03/10/2022