MSU, Uzbekistan’s Tashkent State Agrarian University sign agreement for academic and research collaborations

MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner presents a cowbell to Botirjon Sulaymonov, rector of Uzbekistan’s Tashkent State Agrarian University, after signing a memorandum of understanding to encourage research and academic partnerships between the two universities. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University and Uzbekistan’s Tashkent State Agrarian University are planning future academic and research collaborations after leaders from both institutions signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday [Feb. 12] at MSU.

A delegation from Uzbekistan is visiting MSU this week to tour campus research facilities, discuss collaboration opportunities and execute the MOU. The group is part of a larger Uzbekistan delegation that is in Mississippi this week to meet with state leaders. An MSU contingent visited TSAU last month to meet with university officials, as well as government officials that included the Uzbekistan minister of higher education.

“We are honored to form this partnership,” MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said Tuesday. “We look forward to exchanging ideas and working together as we explore ways to deepen the partnership.”

The two universities are looking to develop alliances focused in specific areas of agriculture, which will help TSAU develop needed expertise in a sector that is significant to the Uzbekistan economy. The Uzbekistan delegation visiting MSU includes Botirjon Sulaymonov, rector of TSAU.

“This is a very historical moment,” Sulaymonov said during Tuesday’s signing ceremony. “We are looking to have some of our students in the near future study at Mississippi State University, which will help grow our economy in Uzbekistan, especially in agriculture. We hope this will be beneficial for us and for Mississippi State.”

The agreement encourages the mutual exchange of faculty and technical experts, opportunities for TSAU students to enroll at MSU, exchanges of technical information, as well as the development of dual degree programs and collaborative research projects. Initial research will focus on irrigation and water management in horticulture.

While at MSU, the Uzbekistan delegation is touring facilities in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and the Delta Research and Extension Center in Stoneville.

Julie Jordan, MSU associate vice president for international programs and director of the International Institute, said partnerships like the one signed Tuesday demonstrate MSU’s commitment to global food security.

“This partnership with Uzbekistan is another way of fostering our leadership around the world in the area of agriculture and food security,” Jordan said. “Uzbekistan is a country that is important to the United States, and there are a lot of similarities between Uzbekistan and Mississippi from a climate perspective and from the things that we grow. We have ongoing opportunities for trade and exchange in areas of economic development, as well as education. This partnership is important in a lot of ways.”

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