IFPRI Central Asia Weekly News Digest (July 18 – July 24, 2018)


by Jarilkasin Ilyasov | July 24, 2018

Central Asia and Caucasus Regional Nutrition Capacity Development and Partnership Platform commits to eliminate double burden of malnutrition
The eight countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus will support the Regional Nutrition Capacity Development and Partnership Platform launched by UNICEF, WHO, FAO, and WFP. The program will focus on food security and nutrition in the region, including malnutrition in all its forms including stunting, obesity, and micronutrient deficiency. UNICEF estimates that the prevalence of child obesity in Central Asia to be the second highest globally. Program partners also hope to address child diet and feeding practices during the first years of life. - UNICEF

Uzbekistan expected to start providing loans to Tajik enterprises working in both countries
Tajik savings bank Amonatbonk and Uzbekistan's National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity have agreed on terms that will allow Tajik firms working in both countries to receive loans from Uzbek lenders. More than $33 million will be provided through Amonatbonk to Tajik enterprises importing goods from Uzbekistan. A similar agreement was signed between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in December. - Asia-Plus

Uzbekistan likely to supply fruits, vegetables directly to Russian region
Uzbekistan and Russia's Irkutsk region are working on a proposal to allow the direct import of Uzbek horticultural goods. Currently, Uzbek goods must pass customs clearance in Novosibirsk and then enter the wholesale market, which previously could take as long as three days. Direct arrangements between Uzbek exporters and firms located in Irkutsk could enable the fast delivery of horticulture, which would also be aided by recent improvements in transport and logistics infrastructure. - AzerNews

Food box delivery service makes healthy eating easy in Astana
Local Kazakh startup kese.kz is launching a food box delivery service that will allow its customers to cook their own meals. Subscribers to the service will be given ingredients and instructions to cook a variety of meals, including international cuisines that are not widely eaten in Kazakhstan. The concept is similar to those of food box delivery businesses existing in other countries and the company's founder hopes to introduce healthier eating habits to the general public. - Astana Times

Analysis & Related Information

Central Asia sees opportunity in U.S.-China trade war
Central Asian exporters of agricultural goods could benefit from increasing trade tensions between the United States and China, according to this analytical piece in EurasiaNet. Improvements in transportation infrastructure, financed by the China's Belt and Road Initiative, could eventually allow Central Asian agricultural products to enter Chinese markets profitably. The article acknowledges that it is still too early to claim that a strategic trade shift has indeed taken place, but several Chinese food importers quoted in the piece are expressing optimism about their new trading partners. - EurasiaNet

Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan shuttle trade booms, but for how long?
Loosened border controls have led to thriving cross-border trade between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, but there are indications that Uzbek authorities may tighten restrictions on behalf of its local firms. Local traders and middlemen are taking advantage of arbitrage opportunities on both sides of the border, bringing Uzbek horticultural products to market for higher prices in Kyrgyzstan and buying electronic appliances in Kyrgyzstan for resale in Uzbekistan, for example. The volume of trade appears to have surprised customs officials and certain Uzbek manufacturers have pressured authorities to prevent cheaper imports from flowing into the country unrestricted. - EurasiaNet

Publications & Reports

Migration, remittances, and climate resilience in Tajikistan
Z. Babagaliyeva, A. Kayumov, N. Mahmadullozoda, N. Mustaeva (2018). Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC). Working paper, part II.

Getting incentives right: the economic and social determinants of migrants' well-being during the global financial crisis
A. Danzer and B. Dietz (2018). Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. Working paper no. 371.

Small-scale irrigation self-governance in a mountain region of Tajikistan
A. Dorre and C. Goibnazarov (2018). Mountain Research and Development, 38(2), pp. 104-113.

Understanding gendered innovation processes in forest landscapes: case studies from Indonesia and Kyrgyz Republic
M. Elias et al. (2018). CGIAR Research Programs on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA). GENNOVATE report.

Food systems and agrobiodiversity in the mountains of Central Asia
M. Foggin, M. Emslie-Smith, C. Hergarten (2018). Mountain Research and Development, 38(2), pp. 175-179.

Eurasian Economic Union: evolution, challenges and possible future directions
G. Mostafa and M. Mahmood (2018). Journal of Eurasian Studies, online version ahead of print.

Improving the drip irrigation system for crops in foothill areas of Kazakhstan with minor elevation difference
Z. Mustafayev, A. Kozykeyeva, A. Zhatkanbaeva (2018). Research on Crops, 19(2), pp. 325-334.

Human contribution to the increasing summer precipitation in Central Asia from 1961 to 2013
D. Peng, T. Zhou, L. Zhang, B. Wu (2018). Journal of Climate, online version ahead of print.

The prospective of introducing Islamic banking system in Tajikistan: using theory diffusion and innovation (TDI) approach
A. Sharofiddin, A. Idris, A. Othman (2018). International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 6(7), July 2018.

The political consequences of self-insurance: evidence from Central-Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia
K. Tertytchnaya and C. De Vries (2018). Political Behavior, online version ahead of print.

One Belt One Road initiative: how to regulate Chinese dragon in Central Asia
A. Umirdinov (2018). Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), Sixth Biennial Global Conference. Conference paper.

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.