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Academic symposium on Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia

19 June 2019 - In the framework of the “Structured doctoral programme on Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia” (SUSADICA), IAMO researchers contributed to the academic symposium on Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia, which was held in the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers (TIIAME), Uzbekistan, on 27 May 2019.

The symposium gathered researchers working on agricultural development topics, as well as representatives from international development agencies and ministries. The event was organized to officially launch a series of events planned within the SUSADICA structured doctoral programme established in the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers (TIIAME) and maintained jointly with Justus Liebig University Gießen, IAMO, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and a network of international partners.
The symposium started with a public lecture on the use of the social sciences in agricultural development policy given by Prof. Dr. Martin Petrick, the programme coordinator from Justus Liebig University Gießen and a visiting researcher at IAMO. In his lecture, Prof. Petrick pointed at the importance of contributions from social scientists to address the agricultural development issues in form of measurement of social reality, isolation of social laws of human behavior, informing institutional and policy change, and contribution to public discourse. The second public lecture was on Rural Development Policy and provided by Prof. Dr. Kyung-Ryang Kim from Kangwon National University, South Korea. By introducing the analytical framework of rural development, Prof. Kim presented the South Korean rural development Saemaeul movement and its applicability in the settings of Uzbekistan.

The second half of the event was dedicated to the establishment of an experimental economics lab in TIIAME. The researchers from IAMO will be contributing to the establishment of the lab in TIIAME jointly with partner universities in Central Asia and Germany in the next two years. Among the central activities that include the capacity building of TIIAME lecturers and researchers, preparatory activities will be taken to design and test classroom and field experiments. The lab will benefit from cooperation with the SUSADICA doctoral programme in terms of implementation of trainings and discussion seminars. Two SUSADICA PhD students, Zafar Kurbanov and Abdusame Tadjiev, will be using the methods from experimental economics to investigate farmers’ decision making in irrigated areas of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. For this, the students will complement survey data collected within the VolkswagenStiftung funded project “Institutional change in land and labour relations of Central Asia’s irrigated agriculture” (AGRICHANGE) with additional individual-level information to elicit risk and time preferences.

The SUSADICA doctoral programme aims at conducting cutting edge research at international standards on the topics of regional and international relevance, and contributing to the academic environment in TIIAME. Within the latter, as presented by Nozilakhon Mukhamedova (the programme coordinator from Justus Liebig University Gießen), the programme will launch a series of public lectures and regular discussion seminars on the topics of agricultural development issues inviting senior and young researchers from universities and research centers, representatives from ministries, development agencies and non-governmental organizations.