IFPRI Central Asia Weekly News Digest (June 13 – June 19, 2018)


by Jarilkasin Ilyasov | June 19, 2018

Remittances from Russia to Tajikistan increase 15 percent in first quarter
Russia's central bank reported that transfers from Russia to Tajikistan totaled approximately $487 million in the first quarter of this year, representing a 15 percent increase from Q1 2017. This places Tajikistan second among former Soviet republics behind Uzbekistan in terms of remittance volume from Russia. - Asia-Plus

Uzbekistan becomes world's fourth largest cherry exporter
Uzbekistan exported 32,000 tons of sweet cherries in 2017, ranking it fourth among world cherry exporters, reports analytical firm EastFruit. It is projected that this figure will increase to 36,000-38,000 tons this year, marking a sharp increase from five years ago, when annual Uzbek cherry exports did not exceed 5,000 tons. - AzerNews

Tajik bank could provide credit in Chinese yuan
Tajikistan's Amonatbonk could become the first public savings bank to issue credit in Chinese yuan pending government approval. Amonatbonk plans to raise 60 million yuan, which will be allocated to companies looking to import technology and industrial equipment. This follows discussions between the national banks of Tajikistan and China to initiate currency swaps. - Avesta

ADB approves another loan for Uzbekistan's horticulture sector
The Asian Development Bank will approve another $198 million loan toward its Horticulture Value Chain Development Project in Uzbekistan. The project, which was launched in November 2016, has allowed seven local financial institutions to expand their lending portfolio to include qualified farmers and agricultural enterprises. The additional financing is expected to facilitate investment into Uzbekistan's processing and storage facilities in addition to the adoption of efficient technologies. - AzerNews

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

Steering the poverty-environment nexus in Central Asia: a metagovernance analysis of the Poverty-Environment Initiative (PEI)
S. Challe, S. Christopoulos, M. Kull, L. Meuleman (2018). Development Policy Review, 36(4), pp. 409-431.

Influences of environmental changes on water storage variations in Central Asia
W. Hu, H. Liu, A. Bao, A. El-Tantawi (2018). Journal of Geographical Sciences, 28(7), pp. 985-1000.

Financial inclusion, regulation, financial literacy, and financial education in Tajikistan
R. Mogilevskii and S. Asadov (2018). Asian Development Bank Institute. Working paper no. 847.

Nutritive value of goat and cow milk sampled from the region of East Kazakhstan
A. Serikova et al. (2018). Journal of Pharmaceutical Research International, 22(5), pp. 1-6.

Global Economic Prospects: the turning of the tide?
World Bank (2018). Flagship report, June 2018.

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.