Strategies for food security in Central Asia
Food security can have major societal impacts and tackling this challenge is a top priority for the governments of NATO’s partner countries in Central Asia. To assist these countries in developing appropriate strategies and building capacity to implement them, a NATO-funded advanced training course was organised in Antalya, Turkey, from 31 March to 2 April 2011, under NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme. Around 40 participants from NATO and Partner countries took part in the event.
There is a direct link between development challenges and food security, poverty alleviation and natural resource degradation in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Each country is seeking to move from centrally planned to more market-oriented economies. Yet, as they transition, economic instability, incomplete reforms and insufficient foreign reserves continue to hamper progress on food security and the efficient use of natural resources for food production.
The most pressing need is for skilled personnel – policy makers, analysts, scientists, inspectors, processors and producers – with the appropriate knowledge and capacities to address these challenges effectively.
Implementation of effective food security strategies will require scientifically based food safety regulations; monitoring and enforcement of food safety standards; training; and infrastructure development (storage, transportation, inspection, etc).
The training course aimed to facilitate the transfer of experience and knowledge needed in the development of adequate food security policy in the region.
Experts focused on the following key topics:
- methods for identifying food security issues and challenges;
- policies to increase food security;
- strategic analysis of food security in similar developing countries;
- applied methodologies in poverty alleviation, efficient use of natural resources and stabilisation of food supplies.
The workshop was funded through NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme and formed part of a series of SPS solutions aimed at “Countering other threats to security”. For more information, visit www.nato.int/science (see “Calendar” for organisers’ contact details).