Third annual conference on food security in the Eurasian region

Within the period from October 2 to 4, 2018 third annual conference on food security in the Eurasian region of Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov in the Shuvalov building, Moscow city, the Russian Federation was held. On behalf of “Agricultural Productivity and Nutrition Improvement Project” was participated food security specialist of the Expert Group of the Secretariat for food security – Mukhammed Torobekov. The conference participants discussed the transformation of agricultural and food system to strengthen food security in Eurasian, as well as possible solutions to problems in this area.

The purpose of the conference was to identify the interests and motivations of stakeholders in the event of shocks in the food system, analyses policy measures and to develop the most appropriate system of political measures to best serve the interests of all stakeholders and to avoid or reduce the sensitivity of the country’s food system to possible future shocks.

The conference was organized by the Eurasian center for food security, MSU (ECFS), the World Bank, IFPRI, ICARDA and FAO with the support of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation.

The activity gathered more than 170 participants from Russia, the USA, Europe and Central Asian countries – the representatives of regional and international organizations, scientific and educational institutions, food manufacturers and local governments.

On the first conference day, on October 2, at four thematic sessions specialists asked the questions of food security in the region: transformation of food systems, innovations in agriculture, food losses and waste, as well as the climate influence on food security in the region.

The second conference day, October 3, was devoted to four blocks: sessions with presentations of country-specific experiences (Republic of Korea, Russia, Armenia, Central Asian countries), FAO sessions, IFPRI and thematic survey. FAO experts have discussed social protection programmes in the areas of nutrition, food security, migration potential and school nutrition. IFPRI representatives covered several topics – from expanding women rights in the households to food policy in Central Asian countries.

On the third day, October 4, the workshop “Views of stakeholders and the need for knowledge on soil organic carbon fixation” was held within the project of the CIRCASA. It was attended by Russian soil analysts from different regions of the country and specialists in the field of agriculture and food security of Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and France. There was a lively discussion about the main ways of soil organic carbon management in different countries of Eurasia, barriers to their implementation and possible solutions. Further the workshop participants have visited “Danilov market”. At the “Danilov market” the Director of communication with agricultural producers told the visitors about the peculiarities of trade on the reconstructed site.

At the end of the conference all participants came up with opinion that food security is the part of national security of the country, since none state will be able to achieve national, including economic, security, without primarily the needs of the population for quality food, and that in order to achieve the goals of food security, each region faces not only interstate, national, but also individual problems of food security. There is much concern about: transport accessibility, the passage of the borders, small scale, not consistency in the actions of the  state decision-making levels, lack of a single map of transportation of agricultural products, lack of awareness of the population on the efficient and scientific consumption of food products, low-skilled staff on issues of food security, lack of basic knowledge among government employees on the definition of food security, lack of single norms of certification etc.

Therefore, it is necessary to cooperate and mutual trust of all of members of the Eurasian region in solution of general issues of food security.

Torobekov has proposed to develop a single roadmap on the movement of agricultural products in the countries of the Eurasian region. He emphasized the importance of the participation of national specialists and state bodies of Kyrgyzstan in the development of a single map of food movement, promotion of production of ecology, organic products, increasing funding for the development of agriculture, the introduction of agricultural risk insurance, informing and recommending to farmers the production of agricultural products from the list of basic products of food security and nutrition through subsidies from the state and public procurement in the State Material Reserve, stimulating the growth consumer commodity-service cooperatives, at the state level, strengthening the control of imported agricultural products in Kyrgyzstan, drafting a list of necessary/required supporting documents for the export of domestic agricultural products and placing on all available places and stands of local government, development and adoption of training programs, refresher training course and advanced professional training of specialists in food security and quality of nutrition of the population of the Kyrgyz Republic, improving awareness and information access on food security and nutrition.

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