IFPRI Central Asia Weekly News Digest (July 4 – July 10, 2018)


by Jarilkasin Ilyasov | July 11, 2018

Tajikistan slaps restrictions on imports from Uzbekistan
Local media are reporting that Tajik authorities are imposing restrictions on the amount of goods its citizens are allowed carry across the border from Uzbekistan. According to Uzbek website Podrobno.uz, specific limits have been set on meat, baked goods, and rice in addition to a total weight cap of 40 kilograms. It was reported that large amounts of Uzbek food products were being resold in Tajik markets after the border was opened. The article suggests that regional governments are growing wary about the ramifications of increased cross-border trade for their local businesses. - EurasiaNet, Podrobno.uz

Uzbekistan to grow its own tea
The Uzbek government has passed a decree setting the conditions for local tea production. Industrial plantations will be established in four regions of the country including Navoi, Tashkent, Jizzakh, and Surkhandarya. Several Uzbek businesses and organizations will found the Scientific and Production Center for the Development of Tea Production, which will be responsible for a number of functions in helping develop the country's tea sector. - AzerNews

Kyrgyz farmers start export of cherries to China
Deputy agriculture minister Zhanybek Kerimaliev announced that at least 14 Kyrgyz farms have finalized agreements to export cherries to China. Some farmers in Batken and Osh regions have reportedly already begun cherry exports in 2018. - News Agency 24

Analysis & Related Information

WFP is paving the way to a new strategic plan to fight hunger in Tajikistan
The United Nations World Food Programme and the government of Tajikistan gathered to review findings from two studies that will help form the basis of a five-year country strategic plan. Tajikistan is attempting to achieve zero hunger as defined by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2024. The Zero Hunger Strategic Review was one of the two studies and was conducted by the Innovation Development Centre under Tajikistan's Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. The other study, the Fill the Nutrient Gap analysis, was carried out by WFP experts and explored the barriers to adequate nutrient intake among specific target groups. - WFP

Tajikistan: government will not regulate prices of essential consumer goods for now...
Tajikistan's state anti-monopoly body declared that it will not regulate the prices of 16 essential consumer items unless it appears that an unwarranted or extreme increase is evident. The Tajik government passed a decree last year giving the state anti-monopoly service the authority to intervene in such cases. The 16 items listed under the decree have been designated as "socially significant" and are widely consumed food products. - Asia-Plus

ADB: four ways to transform landlocked countries
Hong Wei, a senior Asian Development Bank official, writes about the challenges and opportunities for the 12 landlocked developing countries of Asia. He notes that many of these countries suffer from low productivity in their agricultural sectors and are highly reliant on exports of minerals and other primary commodities. Hong proposes four possible solutions to help transform the economies of these countries: (1) greater physical and economic integration with global value chains, (2) economic diversification combined with effective regulatory frameworks, (3) strong financial sectors with access for small and medium sized enterprises, and (4) human resource development including education. - ADB

Turkmenistan finds a novel solution to mass emigration
Turkmen authorities are allegedly resorting to extreme measures to stem emigration, including preventing some of its citizens (particularly younger working-age males) from boarding international flights. While accurate economic information about Turkmenistan is difficult to access given the country's closed nature, signs of a growing economic crisis are emerging. According to the article, a large gap has ballooned between the Turkmen manat's official dollar exchange rate of 3.5 TMT/USD and the black market rate of approximately 25 TMT/USD. Moreover, opposition websites and Uzbek state television have been reporting about food shortages in parts of Turkmenistan. - The Economist, AKIPress

Publications & Reports

The state of the world's forests
FAO (2018).

Variability of the cold season climate in Central Asia - Part I: weather types and their tropical and extra-tropical drivers
L. Gerlitz et al. (2018). Journal of Climate, electronic version ahead of print.

Impact of labour migration on entrepreneurship ecosystem: case of Eurasian Economic Union
G. Todorov, A. Kalinina, A. Rybakova (2018). Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 5(4).

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.