TSAU plays a key role in Uzbekistan’s socio-economic development programme, focusing on the whole complex of issues relating to agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry and environmental management. Founded in 1930 with the status of ‘institute’, TSAU was upgraded to university level on 11 April 1991. The country has huge agricultural potential, but it faces the challenges of a fragile natural environment, with extreme contrasts of climate and soil fertility, ranging from the lush Ferghana Valley to the arid deserts of Karakalpakstan. TSAU covers all the main theoretical and applied areas of agriculture, as well as financial management, marketing and communications technology. It has partnerships with major international institutions and research agencies (e.g. UNDP, GIZ, JOICA, KOICA). It also has regional branches and its activities include the provision of non-academic facilities and services to the wider agricultural community.