State program to allow adding 66,500 hectares of new irrigated lands in Kyrgyzstan
(July 26) The Kyrgyz government announced its ten-year irrigation development plan for 2017-2026. The state program will add 66,500 hectares to existing irrigated land and increase the water supply of another 51,080 hectares. – 24.kg
EBRD launches Women in Business program in Tajikistan
(July 28) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is expanding its award-winning Women in Business program to Tajikistan. The program is designed to help women develop their entrepreneurial and business management skills. Moreover, it seeks to make finance more accessible to Tajikistan’s women, of whom 42 percent are self-employed. Women in Business will also provide funding and technical assistance to local financial institutions that will serve as partners to the $10 million program. – EBRD
Moody's improves prognosis of Kazakhstan's economy
(July 30) Moody’s upgraded Kazakhstan’s sovereign rating to Baa3 and improved its prognosis of the Kazakh economy from negative to stable. It cited the country’s increasing ability to adapt to low oil prices as a decisive factor for the decision. Moody’s commented favorably on Kazakhstan’s low debt burden and accumulation of financial reserves, which it argued has allowed the government to stave off recession and stimulate economic growth. – Eurasianet
Analysis & Other Information
Uzbekistan: King Cotton confronts caper uprising
(July 27) Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev called for the reduction of cotton-based agriculture during a recent visit to the Namangan region, underlining the government’s prioritization of agricultural diversification. According to the article, Uzbekistan has seen rapid growth of horticultural exports in recent years. The title of the article alludes to the emerging production of specialty products such as capers and saffron, which Uzbek farmers are now exporting to new markets throughout Asia and Europe. – Eurasianet
Are foreign exchange reforms on the way in Uzbekistan?
(July 31) This article compares statements from IMF missions to Uzbekistan in 2013 and 2017, noting that the Uzbek authorities nowadays appear more willing to participate in international reporting for financial and monetary statistics. Moreover, the author discusses IMF’s positive reaction to the Uzbek government’s plans to unify its multiple currency exchange rates and suggests additional reforms to improve the country’s investment climate. – The Diplomat
A sneak peek at CAREC's new strategy
(July 31) In this Asian Development Bank blog, Wencai Zhang, Vice President for South Asia and Central and West Asia at ADB, promotes the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. Zhang urged Central Asian countries to emphasize intraregional trade, which accounted for only 6.5 percent of total trade in the region in 2015. – ADB
Publications & Reports
Drought characteristics and management in Central Asia and Turkey
FAO (2017). FAO Water Report 44.
From theory to practice: challenges and constraints to introducing education for sustainable development in Uzbekistan
P. Vlek, R. Eschanov, S. Khodjaniyazov, I. Rudenko, J. Lamers (2017). From A Decade of Progress on Education for Sustainable Development: Reflections from the UNESCO Chairs Programme.
Events & Calls for Papers
ANICANET Summer School 2017
Training course. September 25-29, 2017 in Halle, Germany. Organized by Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO). Summer school on quantitative analysis featuring discussion about animal husbandry in Central Asia. Check link for detailed descriptions about program and eligibility. Deadline to register for the course is August 13, 2017.
Annual Eurasian Food Security Conference
Annual conference. October 3-5, 2017 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Organized by the Eurasian Center for Food Security at Lomonosov Moscow State University (ECFS), World Bank Group, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). Deadline to register for the conference is September 17, 2017.
Life in Kyrgyzstan
Annual conference. October 12-13, 2017 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Organized by Institute of Public Policy and Administration of the University of Central Asia (UCA), Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Security and Development Center (ISDC), and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Deadline to submit papers is June 15, 2017. Deadline to register is September 15, 2017.
Archived issues of the news digest can be found on the Central Asia page under the ReSAKSS Asia website: http://resakss-asia.org/regions/central-asia. A link to the newsletter can be found under Blog Posts.
The articles included in this news digest have been generated from online sources. Any opinions stated herein are not representative of, or endorsed by, the International Food Policy Research Institute or its partners.