Dissemination Workshops on Central Asia Agriculture Risk and Solutions Assessments
Between June 1 and June 5, 2015, dissemination workshops were organized in Bishkek, Astana, and Dushanbe to present the findings of the Central Asia agriculture risk and solutions assessments that have been conducted over the past two years. The workshops were opened by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic and by the Deputy Ministers of Kazakhstan and Tajikistan and attended by stakeholders from the private and public sectors as well as donors.
The risk assessments looked at production, market and enabling environment risks to the crop and livestock sectors in the three countries and assessed potential risk management instruments to address the main risks. Each country faces a different set of key agricultural risks, with Kazakhstan experiencing higher impacts of drought, but usually in association with other sector-level shocks (economic crisis or price drops) while in the Kyrgyz Republic and in Tajikistan, shocks to the sectors tend to be high impact, low frequency, predominantly exogenous (such as independence, the transition, hyperinflation, and political instability). In both the Kyrgyz Republic and in Tajikistan, price volatilities and reliable access to markets also emerged as important risks.
For all three countries, the main recommended responses were to improve productivity and to diversify production and/or markets and to deepen existing markets to strengthen resilience among producers and make market access more reliable. Especially in Kazakhstan, where high reliance on wheat (which comprise over 50 percent of the agriculture output) makes the sector particularly vulnerable to production risks, recommendations were improve wheat productivity and to diversify into other crops and into the livestock sector.
The stakeholders agreed overall with the findings of the risk assessments but debated whether mitigation was the only relevant risk management solution or if for example insurance could play a more important role and if so, would the farmers be able to pay for such insurance. Stakeholders also pointed out that the projected impacts of climate change may exacerbate identified risks or even add new ones, and that relevant investment in agriculture research would, therefore, be important for sustained resilience in the sector.
The three reports will be published in the Fall 2015.