FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
A new FAO project catalyzing the efficiency and sustainability of Azerbaijan’s hazelnut sector "HAZER" was...
In two neighbouring countries, water sharing leads to modern technologies, cross-border cooperation, and increased women...
Food systems in Europe and Central Asia are under pressure by COVID-19. Food outlets and...
The fisheries and aquaculture sector have significantly expanded in the past decades, with global fish...

Regional Initiatives

Photo: ©FAO/Sergey Kozmin

As economic reforms in the 1990s shifted land ownership into the hands of private smallholders, family farmers became the predominant source of agricultural production in the region. To address the absence of well-developed institutional support, FAO is implementing a Regional Initiative on Empowering Smallholders and Family Farms for Improved Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction.

©FAO/Anatolii Stepanov

While international trade policy is usually implemented at the border, adherence to food safety and quality standards concerns national food safety systems as well as food safety and quality control at the enterprise level. This means that a supportive policy environment for modern agrifood trade encompasses not only border policies, but also policies and institutions at the national and enterprise level.

Photo: ©FAO/Robert Atanasovski

The impact of climate change can already be felt on food production systems in the region, posing considerable challenges for agricultural production and food security. FAO is helping countries to manage their natural resources sustainably, while also coping with climate change and reducing the risk of disasters affecting agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

Stories from the field

Photo: ©️FAO/ADI

Climate change is one of the biggest global challenge of our times. Thousands of rural farmers and families are already suffering from consequences that may continue to enlarge, increasing the risk of poverty, food insecurity, and forced migration.

Some parts of Kyrgyzstan were hit hard by flood, frost, and snowfall in April – an additional layer of hardship on vulnerable rural families affected by labour migration, who have already been cut off from employment due to COVID-19 border closures and movement limitations. These circumstances have left more than a thousand families without access to food markets and adequate knowledge on essential agricultural techniques and practices, which would have helped them to grow food in their backyards.

Photo: ©FAO/Dorin Goian

Getting fruit and vegetables from the fields to the table is extra challenging amid COVID-19 – from restrictions on movement to high transport costs and closed markets.

The sector is also facing big changes in demand and prices. While the prices of some products are skyrocketing, especially those thought to boost immunity like lemons and garlic, others are plummeting.

©FAO/Karen Minasyan

Life in rural areas has its beauties and hardships. Yet, Qyaram Khachatryan said he would never want to exchange his village life in northern Armenia for living in a city, even after he lost virtually everything in the devastating earthquake of 1988. Lost everything but his good spirit and hope, that is. Thankfully, these are two essential tools for the current crisis as well.