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FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
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Regional Initiatives

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.

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/Hafiz Muminjanov

For three days, Tashkent is hosting an international conference to promote conservation agriculture in this corner of the world, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan.

Around 800 participants are attending the conference, including scientists, agriculture and extension service specialists, university professors, students, farmers, and policy makers from Australia, Brazil, Europe, the Near East, and Central and South Asia.

Countries of Central Asia have great potential in implementing conservation agriculture, considering that it is practiced on 12 percent of global cropland, much higher than the percentage here.

Photo: ©FAO/METU IMS/Victor Podhornyi

The Bosphorus, the narrow strait in Istanbul that connects the Black Sea basin to the rest of the world, hosted a special guest on 12 July. Affectionately named “Bilim” (Turkish for “Science”), the oceanographic research vessel (RV) from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey was just embarking on a 21-day survey of the Black Sea.  

A group of Turkish scientists were joined on board by six international researchers for a mission to study Black Sea anchovy stocks and monitor the environmental conditions that influence them.

Photo: ©FAO/Lea Plantek

Montenegro is looking to strengthen the links between agriculture, food and tourism, uniting its mesmerising coastline and spectacular mountains with its traditional foods – ranging from speciality cheeses and cured hams to bitter greens and crisp wines.

As part of this agritourism push, at the end of June a Montenegrin delegation of government officials and producers travelled to Austria to learn from the country’s exemplary model of sustainable management of mountainous areas.