It has become a tradition to publish annual compilations of case studies on various aspects of food security in Eurasian economies. The Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS) implements this initiative and prepares materials together with the World Bank. This edition contains two case studies concerned with important dimensions of food security in the Eurasian region. Case study topics generally cover the most relevant food security issues on which recommendations should be made to allow prompt and effective decision making in future.
Recently, organic agriculture has been discussed a great deal. This is a sector that aims to produce high-quality agricultural products in compliance with modern environmental standards. In Eurasian economies, this sector is beginning to develop mostly at the level of individual farms. However, in order to streamline the operation of the organic agriculture system, it is necessary to take a number of steps at the regional level: to develop and support organic farmer cooperation, to introduce efficient agricultural technologies, to adopt and implement unified regulatory legal acts, and so on. Many of these issues and their implications are discussed in the study by S. Meloyan and A. Rykalin.
Providing for food security in arid Central Asian countries is a matter with its own challenges. Farm activities are jeopardized by climate change, which increases drought intensity. The problem is most evident in the Aral Sea Region of Uzbekistan, where 60–80 percent of the population is rural. Agricultural production becomes a highly topical issue in the context of soil degradation and desertification. Putting in place a mechanism that would enable the population to adapt to the region’s climate challenges is matter of significance at both national and international levels. The authors of the study—T. Khamzina, M. Konyushkova, and M. Nechaeva—conducted an in-depth analysis of the negative implications of climate change for the agricultural sector of the Nukus District in Karakalpakstan. On that basis, they propose necessary climate-smart agriculture strategies and state support measures for agricultural producers.
Case study materials have been traditionally used in management decision making at the regional level as well as in the training of various food security specialists. ECFS and the World Bank came up with the plan to organize training in food security issues for young teachers from the Eurasian region (altogether 14 people) based on the earlier published case studies. In January 2020, the Moscow State University held a weeklong workshop under the guidance of D. Watson and J. Gentry from the Tarleton State University (United States) and with the participation of ECFS teachers. During the training week, the trainees not only listened to lectures but also had a detailed discussion of specific study case issues—such as the application of modern technologies with a view to promoting and using case study results for practical and educational purposes.