IFPRI CA News Digest (March 21 – March 27, 2018)


by Jarilkasin Ilyasov | March 28, 2018

Remittances to Central Asia surge but fall short of historic highs
New data from Russia’s Central Bank show that remittances to Central Asian countries continued their positive trajectories in 2017. Remittances to Kyrgyzstan reached an all-time high of $2.21 billion last year. Two non-Eurasian Economic Union countries, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, saw 31 and 42 percent increases in remittances from the previous year, respectively. However, their totals fell far shy of previous records set in 2013. Of the three major migrant-sending nations in Central Asia, only Kyrgyzstan is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, giving its citizens stronger legal rights to work in Russia. – EurasiaNet

Rural women in Kyrgyzstan receive assistance from Swedish funds
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) will help expand an existing project focused on economic opportunities for rural women in Kyrgyzstan. The Joint Programme on Accelerating Progress towards the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women is also in operation in six other countries: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Liberia, Nepal, Niger, and Rwanda. In Kyrgyzstan, the program is serving nearly 3,000 direct beneficiaries and has established 73 community funds extending microcredit to rural women. – FAO

Pakistan trade with Central Asia: minister for better linkages to increase trade
Ministerial delegations from the five Central Asian republics met with the Pakistani commerce minister Pervaiz Malik as they discussed ways to enhance trade between the Central Asia region and Pakistan. Malik emphasized that removing visa hurdles and non-tariff barriers in addition to improving transportation and financial links would help trade volumes reach their potential. – The Express Tribune

Kazakhstan: Kyzylorda rice producers to manufacture animal feed from rice hulls
A regional trade group based in Kyzylorda will purchase equipment that will recycle rice hulls for use in animal feed. Rice hulls are commonly burned or buried after harvesting the edible portion of the rice plant, leading to environmental problems. Rice hulls contain silicon dioxide, which does not easily decompose. The equipment, which will be purchased from South Korea, could transform rice hulls into a nutritional supplement for animal feed. Local scientists previously found a method to use rice hulls as a component for lightweight concrete. – Astana Times

Analysis & Other Information
Forecasting for resilience: Central Asia strengthens climate and weather services
World Bank’s Central Asia Hydrometeorology Modernization Project (CAHMP) will help regional authorities improve hydrometeorological services and generate weather- and climate-risk information. The $28 million project will provide modern technical equipment and specialized training for participating agencies. The World Bank reports that forecast accuracy has improved by 20 to 30 percent in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan due to existing work. – World Bank

Uzbekistan, Tajikistan: as the Karimov wall crumbles, families reunite
This EurasiaNet human interest story looks at how the recent rapprochement between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is affecting families that were split by national border policies following independence. – EurasiaNet

Tajikistan, Russia in fresh airlines battle
The aviation authorities of Tajikistan and Russia are engaged in a dispute over access to flight routes. This could potentially mean higher prices for migrants during the popular spring travel season. The article characterizes it as a recurring dispute between Tajikistan and Russia, who have signed a bilateral agreement maintaining flight parity for their national airlines for international flights between the two countries. – EurasiaNet

Publications & Reports
Economic swings, political instability and migration in Kyrgyzstan
V. Agadjanian, E. Gorina (2018). European Journal of Population.

The socio-economic life around beans in Kyrgyzstan: practices, discourses and local households
G. Iskandarova (2018). Central Asian Affairs, 5(1), pp. 32-56.

Childhood stunting in Tajikistan: quantifying the association with WASH, food security, health, and care practices
R. Lavado, W. Seitz, A. Thiebaud (2017). World Bank Working Paper No. 124407.

Power and water in Central Asia
F. Menga (2018). Routledge, London and New York.

Building inclusive labour markets in Kazakhstan: a focus on youth, older workers and people with disabilities
OECD (2017). OECD Publishing, Paris.

Events & Call for Papers
2018 Regional Summer School for Young Economists
Call for applications. 4 – 15 June 2018 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Westminster International University in Tashkent (WIUT). The course will largely focus on developing econometric analysis, policy analysis, and quantitative research skills for use in economics and related social sciences. The course is open to individuals who are engaged in research or are preparing for a career in research, are fluent in English, and are 35 years old or younger. Please click on the above link for further details. Deadline to submit applications is 20 April 2018.

"Agriculture Trade and Foreign Investments for Sustainable Regional Integration in Caucasus and Central Asia" Conference
6 – 7 September 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Organized by Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economics (IAMO) and Institute of Scientific Research on Economic Reforms (ISRER). The aim of this conference is to serve as a platform to discuss options for regional integration in the Caucasus and Central Asian countries and to explore opportunities for increasing agricultural exports from the region. Researchers, public officials, and private sector partners are invited to participate. The conference will be conducted in English and Russian. Please click on the above link for further details. Abstract submission is open until 11 May 2018.





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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.