IFPRI Central Asia Weekly News Digest (June 6 – June 12, 2018)


by Jarilkasin Ilyasov | June 13, 2018

Kazakhstan to facilitate farmers' access to agricultural loans
Joint-stock companies KazakhExport and the Agricultural Credit Corporation will jointly guarantee farmers' loans, following the signing of regulations on the financing of agricultural enterprises. According to the regulations, the loan process for farmers will be simplified and expedited through the Agricultural Credit Corporation, after which KazakhExport will make decisions regarding the provision of insurance for projects. - Trend News Agency

Kazakh government to provide up to 14,000 businesses startup microloans in 2018
The government plans to provide approximately 14,000 startup entrepreneurs with microloans under a 20 billion tenge ($59.8 million) allocation fund reserved for micro-lending. This would represent an increase from the approximately 7,000 people covered in 2017. Recipients must complete business training in order to receive money, according to the government minister quoted in the article. - Astana Times

Uzbekistan to create own pomegranate brand, begin cultivating seedless varieties
Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev laid out plans to expand production of pomegranates during a visit to the Fergana Valley. He called for the establishment of a scientific center dedicated to pomegranates, which would work in tandem with academic institutions and the Ministry of Innovative Development to introduce new types of pomegranates and study market dynamics. - Trend News Agency

China ready to import soybeans from North Kazakhstan
North Kazakhstan will begin supplying China with soybeans this fall. Kazakh soybean exports to China are increasing: it has matched exports for the whole 2016/17 marketing year in the first seven months of the current marketing year. North Kazakhstan region accounts for 40 percent of total oilseed output and is seen as an attractive alternative to Argentina and Brazil as a source for environmentally-friendly products. - UkrAgroConsult

Analysis & Related Information

ILO: Uzbekistan is on right track in eliminating forced labor
An International Labor Organization official believes that Uzbekistan has demonstrated progress in eliminating the practice of forced labor. The ILO is working with the government, unions, and employers to train people under its Third-Party Monitoring Project. The ILO official noted the support of the current presidential administration in issuing strong policy messages on the issue. - AzerNews

Trade in agricultural sector between Kazakhstan and China grew by 20 percent
Food trade links between Kazakhstan and China are growing, due in large part to advances in regulation by Kazakhstan. Kazakh TV interviews a number of Chinese investors, officials, and academics regarding the latest trends in Kazakh-Chinese trade within the context of the two countries' respective economic development plans. - Kazakh TV

Kazakhstan: new technologies in agriculture
Kazakh agricultural enterprises are employing modern technologies to improve efficiency, according to this feature by Kazakh TV. The individuals interviewed describe the spread of drip irrigation and discuss the financial viability of installing newer technology. - Kazakh TV

How much does $1 cost in Turkmenistan?
This infographic by Radio Free Europe depicts the alleged black market rate of the Turkmen manat in the past three years. Reports from the country indicate signs of currency and inflation crises. An applied economist at Johns Hopkins University believes that Turkmenistan currently has the second-highest inflation rate in the world. Additional graphs are available at the Cato Institute's Troubled Currencies Project. - Radio Free Europe, EurasiaNet, Cato Institute

Publications & Reports

Technical efficiency and economic performance in livestock farming in Uzbekistan
A. Abruev (2018). Ekonomika i predprinimatel'stvo, 8(1), 2017, pp. 547-553.

Analyzing conflicts of implementing high-speed railway project in Central Asia using graph model
S. He, E. Flegentova, B. Zhu (2018). "GDN 2018: Group Decision and Negotiation in an Uncertain World." International Conference on Group Decision and Negotiation. Conference paper, pp. 139-153.

Special economic zones as an engine of regional economic development: the best practices and implications for Uzbekistan
S. Sattarov (2018). International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration, 4(4), pp. 48-55.

Production potential in the breadbaskets of Eastern Europe and Central Asia
J. Swinnen et al. (2017). Global Food Security, 14, pp. 38-53

Events & Call for Papers

Annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference
Annual conference and call for papers. 17-18 October 2018 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The University of Central Asia's (UCA) Institute of Public Policy and Administration, International Security and Development Center (ISDC), and the Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ) are organizing the fourth annual Life in Kyrgyzstan Conference. Organizers are accepting proposals for sessions and/or presentations of papers. Please click on the above link or contact likconference2018@gmail.com for additional details. Deadline for proposals is 30 June 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.





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.