What Future for Irrigated Agriculture in Central Asia?
Welcome to the online discussion “What Future for Irrigated Agriculture in Central Asia?”.
This three-week online discussion is initiated by the Global Food Security and Nutrition Forum (FSN Forum) in close collaboration with Investment Centre Division, both based in Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO).
Water is a key element for food security and the management of water resources is of crucial political importance. This is especially evident in areas in which a high percentage of agriculture is based on irrigation with water coming from basins shared among several countries.
Against this background, FAO has been actively involved into preparation of several scenarios for the future of irrigated agriculture in Central Asia.
Those activities were implemented within a project aimed to support water cooperation among countries sharing the Aral Sea Basin by encouraging systematic thinking about the future. Through a joint scenario thinking exercise, participants from all five Central Asia republics and Afghanistan developed a scenario set for the year 2040 about the regional water-agricultural-energy nexus. The results of the project was a collaborative work of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC-IFAS), the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the Investment Centre and the Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia of FAO.
To know more about the project outputs and to learn about “scenario thinking”, we invite you to read the background papers and to watch a short introductory video:
In order to stimulate and enrich this discussion, we would like to focus on the following guiding questions:
What would be the first steps governments should take to create a regional agricultural trade mechanism that ensures food supplies including during periods of market shocks?
The threat of climate change is looming. What effective actions you think are possible to undertake to cope with climate change in Central Asia without regional cooperation?
The agricultural sector in Central Asia is under growing pressure to decrease water use while at the same time guaranteeing food production. With these seemingly contradictory objectives, what characteristics should agricultural development have to achieve them?
Productivity gains in the agricultural sector require public and also private investments. What mechanisms you can think of to promote private investments in the agricultural sector in Central Asia in a responsible manner? What conditions need to be met?
We are calling on stakeholders such as governments, civil society organizations, research institutes, non-governmental organisations, developing projects and Water User Associations to engage in a constructive dialogue.
The outcomes of the discussion will help the team of the Investments Centre and the Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia and their partners from EC-IFAS and UNRCCA to advance the finalization of the scenarios. Additionally, the discussion will contribute to the development of a dynamic food security network for Europe and Central Asia that will be integrated into FAO’s overall global activities on food security and nutrition issues.
Your answers, ideas and suggestions will support this process.
We look forward to a rich discussion and to receiving your inputs, which will help us refine and finalize the scenarios.
Please feel free to circulate the invitation within your professional networks or to suggest us people you think would be interested in taking part in online-discussions
Thank you in advance,
Giovanni Munoz – Land and Water Development Engineer (FAO/TCIC)
Bart Hilhorst - Expert in transboundary water resources management, Consultant