Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Uzbekistan Minister of Foreign Economic Relations Eliyor Ganiev have signed a PL 480, Title I, agreement to supply 83,300 metric tons of U.S. rice to the government of Uzbekistan. The value of the agreement is $20 million.

“This agreement provides an excellent marketing opportunity for U.S. rice farmers and millers who can deliver high quality rice to impoverished families in Uzbekistan,” said Veneman.

The signing followed a meeting between Veneman and Uzbekistan President Islom Karimov in which they discussed the agricultural situation in that country. Uzbekistan in central Asia was a republic of the former Soviet Union.

Under the agreement, the U.S. rice will be sold locally within Uzbekistan.

The proceeds will be used to fund a development plan to increase agricultural production and improve food storage, marketing, transportation and distribution.

Under PL 480, Title I, sales of U.S. agricultural commodities are made by private firms at competitive U.S. market prices, with long-term, low-interest financing provided by USDA. For more information about this program, visit: http://www.usda.fas.gov