The winners of the case studies challenge 2018

The third annual case studies challenge on food security in the Eurasian region was held under the supervision of the Eurasian Center for Food Security of the Moscow State University. The main goal of challenge was the improvement of quality of nutrition and food loss prevention in Eurasia. The aim of the research is to propose the policies that can improve the effectiveness of food value chains by (1) improving the quality of food and nutrition or (2) preventing food losses.
With more than 30 applications were received during the competition, seven winners were selected according to the results of expert council. Three cases were devoted to the analysis of the problems related to food losses in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan; the other four described various aspects of increasing the efficiency of value added food chains in Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.
Despite the fact that wheat, along with vegetables is the most important agricultural product of Armenia, the country is only 50% agriculturally self-sufficient. The increasing of capacity of grain crops and reducing grain imports are main goals stated by the Ministry of Agriculture in 2015. The research that will be conducted by Naira Harutyunyan and Elena Belova analyzes the wheat value chains in Armenia. It will address market performance, post-harvest loss and supply chains by the example of one of the main grain regions of the country, Shirak region.
Eldar Kelemetov and Ekaterina Yakubovich in the research "Estimating the magnitude of food losses and the extent of their impact on food security in the Kyrgyz Republic" will analyze main causes of loss at all stages of value chain of fruit and vegetable products and propose the policies to reduce them.
Another study is also devoted to the analysis of losses in the fruit and vegetable products. Daria Ilina and Muzafar Karimov in their study "Improving the fruit and vegetable supply chain in Uzbekistan" will determine the main causes of loss of fruit and vegetable products and develop recommendations for improving value chains. This topic is especially relevant, as the product loss due to underdevelopment of fruit and vegetable value chains reach 30-35%.
The case of development of organic agriculture in the Eurasian region draws the attention of researchers for the second year in a row. Valeriy Koshelev and Saodat Dusmuratova will assess the potential of the development of organic sector in Uzbekistan, propose the measures of state support to provide the transition from traditional to organic production, and will develop a methodology for assessing the economic feasibility of this process. The authors plan to test the methodology analyzing a small or medium-sized farm in Uzbekistan, taking into account possible scenarios of state support.
The research of Yulia Mitusova and Sergey Meloyan is devoted to the analysis of the role of harvesting of wild-growing plants in Armenia for the purpose of combating poverty in mountainous regions of the country. The harvesting of wild berries is an important additional source of income for many residents of mountainous regions of Armenia. The increase of the efficiency of the value chain for these products may play a major role for improvement the quality of living for the country's population. The authors of the case study will suggest policy options aimed at strengthening the wild-harvest berry value chain in Armenia.
The research topic of Anatoly Maksimov and Yulia Kalinichenko is "Linking local smallholder farmers with the national school meals programme in Kyrgyzstan". The school meal program is considered an integral part of the food security system in the Kyrgyz Republic. At the same time, there are no economic mechanisms to integrate local farmers into food value added chains taking into account the needs of school meals. The authors are planning to provide the recommendations aimed at solving this problem.
The case study, conducted by Alexey Naumov and Daria Sidorova is devoted to the theme of "Agricultural production and food security in the Far North regions of Russia: development opportunities based on international experience". The development of Far North regions of the country, which accounts for 70% of the territory of Russia, is one of the key priorities of the state regional strategy. The authors plan to study food value chains in the regions of the Far North of Russia (using the example of Yakutia) to identify best practices, discover the problems of their implementation, and formulate policies aimed at ensuring food security.
The studies will be performed during two and a half months. The results should be presented by the mid-August 2018. The discussion of results of performed case studies will take place at the Annual Conference on Food Security in the Eurasian Region, which will be held on October 2 - 4, 2018 in Moscow.
The case studies, conducted in 2016 and 2017 can be found on the links.
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