Regional perspectives on the unique challenges for food security in Central Asia


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"Regional perspectives on the unique challenges for food security in Central Asia", presented by Alisher Tashmatov, Executive Secretary, Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (CACAARI), at the ReSAKSS-Asia Conference, Nov 14-16, 2011, in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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Regional perspectives on the unique challenges for food security in Central Asia

  1. 1. Workshop on food security in Southeast Asia Katmandu, 14-16 November 2011 “Regional perspectives on the unique challenges for food security in Central, South Asia, and Southeast Asia regions” Challenges for Food Security in the Central Asia and South Caucasus (CACAARI) Alisher Tashmatov Executive Secretary CACAARI 1
  2. 2. CACAARI (Central Asia and Caucasus Association of Agriculture Research Institutions) ― Founded in 2000. Headquarters in Tashkent, Uzbekistan ICARDA -Tashkent ― CACAARI membership: almost 100 NARS institutions and universities, 4 CG centers (ICARDA ,IFPRI,CIMMYT and AVRDC) ― Consortium of universities, Consortium of farmer organizations and Consortium of NGOs. Member of CIARD Regional platform of agricultural scientists, agricultural officials, farmers, NGO activists, university lecturers etc.
  3. 3. Central Asia and Caucasus 3
  4. 4. ― 5 countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) ― 3 countries of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) ― The area exceeding 4 million (about 3 % of the Earth's dry land) ― Population of more than 81 million, up to 40% in rural area ― 70% of poor reside in rural area ― GDP per capita is highest in Kazakhstan (USD 8,500), and lowest in Tajikistan (USD 900) ― Great variety of agricultural directions, plant and animal species, etc. CAC region 4
  5. 5. Overview of agriculture ― Vast land area: 419 million ha (mha); 11.4 mha irrigated, rainfed (22.3 mha) 256 mha of rangelands used as pastures ― important agricultural commodities: wheat, barley, potato, cotton, vegetables and fruits, livestock ― rich genetic heritage of fruits, vegetables and nut trees (almond, walnut) ― Importance of mountain agriculture. 5
  6. 6. Food security Typology Central Asia's Food Security typology Low Soil Fertility Unfavorable Climate Trade insecure Trade secure Trade insecure Trade secure Low food production Low food production High food production High food production Tajikistan Lowest food security Uzbekistan Middle food security Kyrgyzstan Upper Middle food security Turkmenistan Upper Middle food security Kazakhstan Upper Middle food security Armenia Low Food Security Azerbaijan Middle Food Security Georgia Middle Food Security SOURCE: S. Fan, Liengzhi, Y., & B. Yu., 2010, “Toward a typology of food security in developing countries”, IFPRI. <> 6
  7. 7. CAC food security issues and challenges Accordingly AR&D issues are considering as follows: ― Collapse of Soviet union and Self sufficiency policies in 1990s ― Closed borders and feed own people themselves ― Food insecurity, malnutrition and low income are major development challenges for CAC ― Intensive population growth expected in Central Asia by 2050 (from 70.85 mln. people in 2000 to 81.7 mln. people in 2010 ― Experience of increasing land degradation ― Over-exploitation of natural resources, unsustainable land practices ― Climate changes and Post Soviet time water management weaknesses ― Salinization of Aral Sea reduced its area by 50% ― Large reductions in water flow ― Continuous underinvestment in agriculture; reduced agricultural productivity and growth. 7
  8. 8. Major directions on Food security in CAC ― Greater Investment in Agriculture ― Enhanced Crop Productivity and Crop Diversification with emphasis on: ― Dekhon and Small farmers: Focus on Livestock, Horticulture, Integration with Markets ― Pastoralists: Rangeland management, Livestock Improvement, Managing Biodiversity, Integration with market ― Hill and Mountain Farmers: Horticulture including Viticulture, Livestock, Agroforestry ― Fisherfolk: Fishing, inland fisheries, Linking and Integrating with Markets, Water bodies management ― Forest Dwellers: Reforestation, Medicinal and Aromatic Plants, Biodiversity, Livestock Management ― Medium and Large Farmers: Mechanization, Market participation, Crop Diversification ― Special attention to Livestock, Fisheries and Horticulture Production. 8
  9. 9. Time for action ― Transformation and strengthening of agricultural research and innovation systems for development REGIONAL STRATEGY for countries of Central Asian and the Southern Caucasus ― IFPRIASTI monitoring &evaluation GCARD 2010 Road Map implementation on investments AR&D ― IFPRI ’s initiative for survey implementation on Food Policy Capacity Indicators in Central Asian regions. 9
  10. 10. Regional specifics of CAC regional strategy Comprehensive producer-focused Agricultural research and innovation System: Consumers Processors Agricultural organizations Resource suppliers Crediting institutes Other Stakeholders Agricultural science Extension Agricultural education Producers/ farmers 10
  11. 11. First of all we need to address the needs of (i) farmers (e.g. producers and processors), who are the engine of (ii) agricultural productivity, which in turn will provide (iii) food and nutrition for population, and sufficiently for low income and vulnerable groups 11
  12. 12. As synthesis of national reports shows the average share of investments in agricultural research in agricultural GDP is 0.1%. This indicator is expressing how significantly AR4D can address existing issues in agriculture. CACAARI Road Map Gradual financing increase of AR4D: “… Average agricultural research investments as a percentage of agricultural GDP in developing countries are 0.58%, compared with 2.4% in developed economies…” from the GCARD Road Map 12
  13. 13. Thank you for your attention! 13