Uzbekistan's government plans to provide almost two million households with lemon trees so they can feed themselves and sell their produce, according to a draft document published for public discussion.
The cabinet plans to set up specialized companies that will first supply households with seedlings and then buy lemons to export them.
Uzbekistan's exports of fruit and vegetables, worth billions of dollars a year, are surging thanks to strong Russian demand, the government said last November, with the Central Asian country benefiting from Moscow's ban on imports from the West.
Almost two-thirds of Uzbekistan's total population of 32 million live in rural areas and the government faces a challenge in providing employment for hundreds of thousands who have returned from Russia over the last few years due to economic problems there.
The government's plan, outlined in a draft decree this month, includes providing 1.07 million households and small farms with the means to build greenhouses for 4.2 million lemon trees.