Having a good idea is very different to making the idea a reality and a success. This is what I thought during my time at the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus in Bishkek. How do you turn so many of these great ideas into successful food security and agriculture initiatives for the Central Asia and Caucasus (CAC) region? I suppose this is how you are meant to think when you are trying to figure how to “sell your ideas” to potential investors in the private sector.
At the conference, I got the opportunity to observe first-hand discussions revolving around risks for agriculture development in the CAC region. These risks included but were not limited to heavy metal pollution from the mining sector, frost, floods, hail, ruined irrigation systems, the uninformed use of chemicals by farmers, soil erosion, and landslides.
So, what could the CAC countries do? From this event, I quickly realized that they mostly needed to improve the sustainable transfer of knowledge and information. The lack of adequate knowledge and information sharing methods in tackling food security and climate change issues has been a major challenge for the region. However, we have now reached a critical time and our engagement with the public and private sectors as well as other stakeholders and trading partners must be intensified.
One of speakers at the conference said that a key way in which food security and nutrition could be improved was by including policies focused on smallholder producers. This way, rural poverty could be reduced, crop outputs would be increased and agricultural competition could be improved. He also maintained that other important actions was for countries to shift away from the extensive production and reliance on one or two commodities, avoid price controls, and encourage trade and international cooperation.
The CAC region is in dire need of a science and technology system that stimulates agricultural innovation. For this reason, the countries of the region plan to improve their cooperation in the agricultural sector. More specifically, they intend to, strengthen the network of scientists across countries so as to attract funding and facilitate information exchange within the CAC region. In addition, they will increasingly support capacity building activities and more involvement from young specialists in agricultural sector. This would truly help the region sustainably transfer what it needs for success.
Blogpost by Anna Hovhannisyan, #GCARD3 Social Reporter – hovh.anna.isyan(at)gmail.com
Picture courtesy of Anna Hovhannisyan
This post is part of the live coverage during the #GCARD3 Regional Consultation for Central Asia and the Caucasus. This post is written by one of our social reporters, and represents the author’s views only.