Strategies for food security in Central Asia

  • 31 Mar. 2011 - 02 Apr. 2011
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  • Last updated: 06 Apr. 2011 18:57

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.

A vegetable seller sorts vegetables at a market in New Delhi August 6, 2009. The surging price of food in India, even as other prices are flat or falling, is unlikely to push the central bank to raise interest rates in the near term as it looks to nurture growth and accommodate a record $90 billion government borrowing programme.   REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli     (INDIA AGRICULTURE POLITICS BUSINESS)

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 (see “Calendar” for organisers’ contact details).