The first cultivation of organic cotton has begun in 2020. Control Union Certifications for cultured organic cotton has received a number of international certificates from the international organization for the certification of organic cotton and products of the Art Soft holding and its enterprises. We talked about this and other topical issues related to the industry with the head of the Art Soft holding, Olimkhan BOBOKHANOV.
– How was the cluster organized? When and how did it all start? Moreover, could you please tell us about the first difficulties in this sphere.
– According to the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan No. 736 dated September 5, 2019, Art Soft Holding Limited Liability Company was appointed as the organizer of the cluster in the Pop and Mingbulok districts of the Namangan region.
The Art Soft Tex cluster, as part of the Art Soft holding, organized cluster activities in order to organize the cultivation of cotton raw materials, cob grain and other crops, as well as animal husbandry, poultry farming and greenhouse products.
The transition to a cluster system and using of our land, the largest asset of Uzbekistan had been a reason to achieve a very large development in the agricultural direction in a short time. And the results, as far as I can say from the example of the company, that is, according to the cluster system in the Pop and Mingbulak districts, the owner of the system appeared, it has been achieved to release our people from forced labor.
And the creation of a cluster system is a source of income for both our people and the state, and for our farmers, and in particular for our entrepreneurs
– What are the main activities of the cluster? And could you please tell us about the process sequence from cotton raw material cultivation to finished product production in your cluster?
– The main activities of the cluster are cotton fiber processing, spinning and weaving, and as additional activities there are areas of production of greenhouse, tile-ceramic, porcelain products.
There are 3 cotton processing enterprises in the Mingbulak and Pop districts of the cluster. There are also ART SOFT SPINNING, «PAPKEN» spinning enterprises in Pop district, 2 textile enterprises in Namangan city and 5 sewing and knitting enterprises in Namangan districts.
The production capacity of our enterprises is 40 thousand tons of fiber, 25 thousand tons of yarn, 22 thousand tons of weaving products, 25 thousand tons of paint and 22 thousand tons of finished products. In 2022, 618.7 billion reeling yarns, weaving and knitwear and finished garments were produced, while 860.8 billion products were produced in 7 months of 2023.
As you can see, we have a full cycle of textile production. Our main product is a fluffy towel and bathrobe, knitwear, which are produced at one of the largest enterprises «Art Soft Tex». The company consists of workshops for processing, replication, weaving, sewing, dyeing and finishing departments, in which today, together with the branches, about 3000 employees work.
It should be noted that up to nowadays, over the past period, products have been exported to Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Ukraine, China, Turkey in 2022 in the amount of 36.6 million US dollars, and in 2023 – in the amount of 19.5 million US dollars.
– Compliance with certain international standards and requirements is required to enter the world market and join the global supply chain. What work has been done in your company in this regard?
– A number of international certificates by Art Soft Holding and enterprises in its system, in particular, the quality management system certificate ISO 9001, the global system of independent international testing of textile products according to the single criteria of the absence of hazardous substances for humans at all stages of production – OECO-TEX100 standard certificate, OECO -The presence of the TEX certification mark is an absolute guarantee of safety for the end user. GOTS is the leading standard for organic fiber textiles, including production evaluation and social criteria. GOTS provides the organic state of textiles from the collection of raw materials, environmentally and socially responsible production to labeling to guarantee the consumer. The initiative to follow social norms in business-passed the BSCI audit and received the highest A rating, social audit – SEDEX, EU ORGANIC – organic grown cotton and wheat certificates.
The basic principles of the BSCI system include a certificate on the creation of safe workplaces, ensuring legal working hours, fair course of work, child labor, forced labor and the prevention of all forms of discrimination.
For the first time since 2020, the cultivation of organic cotton began. Control Union Certifications for cultivated organic cotton received certification for organic cotton and produce from the international certification organization. Today, there is a huge demand for organic products. After obtaining a certificate in organic cotton, many buyers find us themselves and come out as buyers. We continue our work this year, roughening the areas where organic products are grown from year to year, and this was brought to 200 hectares in 2023.
– Currently, in Uzbekistan, serious attention is paid to innovative technologies. What advanced technologies are used in the cultivation of cotton and the subsequent production cycle? Could you please briefly talk about your modern laboratories.
– The introduction of drip irrigation technologies on 3 thousand hectares as new technologies for the cultivation of cotton, the introduction of 788 modern agricultural techniques and improvements in the supply of equipment, the widespread use of the company’s products for the production of biostimulants of 9 varieties ensured an increase in cotton fertilizing from one hectare to 40 quintals. The comparison of the results you can see in the figures: 78,381 tons of cotton were grown in 2021, compared to 87,357 tons in 2022.
Also, the most modern in the production chain, including «Dornier», «SulzerTextile», «Itema», «Uster», «Staubli», «Sucker Muller», «Truthler», «Sourer», «Luwa TAC», «Ergotec », «Simet», «Rieter», «Dilmenler» and the most modern machines are installed.
In order to develop a scientific approach in the field of clustering, the introduction of modern innovations, at the «ART SOFT TEX CLUSTER» in cooperation with the Turkish company TETRA AZ, the American company Perkin Elmer and the Italian company VELP, it was created the ART SOFT research center, which was equipped with modern analytical equipment.
The main goal of the center is to increase soil fertility and yields in cotton fields, the introduction of new irrigation technologies.
The main tasks of the scientific center are to carry out agrochemical analysis of soils and irrigated lands on the basis of an innovative approach in the analysis of crop fields used on a farm engaged in cotton, grain, fruit and vegetable growing, horticultural activities, specializing in the agrarian sector, drawing up maps, establishing differentiated use on the basis of scientific.
At the moment, this research center has analyzed the state of the soil on an area of 5625 hectares and developed agrochemicals.
– What are your future plans?
– Our plans are much more ambitious. These include the expansion of production within the company, an increase in the range of products and, of course, the creation of job places.
For example, together with Turkey’s Akcha Holding company, next year, in exchange for an investment of 250 million dollars, there will be founded textile and knitwear production enterprises in Mingbulok and Pop districts.
It’s been planned to startup of a project with a total cost of 64.7 million euros for the production and painting of three-dimensional sets of Stage 2 pillows and blankets on 6 hectares of land at the Art Soft Tex production plant.
The implementation of the first project «ART SOFT KG» in a foreign country cost LLC «Art Soft Holding» 30 million US dollars. This project is implemented on the basis of bilateral agreements between the heads of state of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic.
All these measures allow our company to produce and export high-quality competitive products, increase labor productivity and open new markets.
Art Soft Holding is a brand company that has managed to conquer the market of countries around the world with its Uzbek fiber and products. We provide quality and comfort for you!