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SUSADICA workshop presented freshly published results and outlook for continued research

25 March 2022 - From 3rd to 4th March 2022, IAMO hosted a research workshop of the Structured Doctoral Programme on Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia (SUSADICA) co-organized by the team from Justus-Liebig-University Gießen.

For the first time in two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SUSADICA team united in presence with the objective of presenting and discussing the research progress and the outlook and plans for the coming twelve months. There have been notable achievements of PhD students with publishing their research in distinguished journals. For instance, Daniela Pena-Guerrero and her co-authors evaluated high-resolution precipitation products over the complex topography and climate of Central Asia. Her published results provide guidelines for assessing precipitation products, which can serve to assess terrestrial water storage prior to the irrigation season. Davron Niyazmetov published a paper on the institutional compatibility of establishing agricultural cooperatives. He presented a new manuscript that investigates the importance of land tenure security to farmers and how this would affect their choice of land contracts in Uzbekistan.

The hybrid mode of the workshop allowed the SUSADICA programme partners from the National Research University “Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers” (NRU TIIAME) to participate online from Uzbekistan. On the second day of the workshop, Prof. Abdulkhakim Salokhiddinov and the local coordinator of the project Dr. Sherzod Murodov presented the recent restructuring and plans of NRU TIIAME. Meetings in small groups facilitated the discussion of special topics such as: the overall strategy of the SUSADICA project, further collaboration plans with NRU TIIAME, and the activities of “SUSADICA Agrichange III survey” data users. SUSADICA plans to implement that survey during the first half of 2022. The workshop gave many possibilities for informal exchange among the students and supervisors and reinvigorated the team spirit after two years of online meetings.

The SUSADICA doctoral programme is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and the Uzbek Ministries of Higher Education and Innovative Development. It aims at conducting cutting edge research at international standards on the topics of regional and international relevance, strengthening graduate education in the field of agricultural development in Central Asia and contributing to the academic environment in TIIAME. Ten doctoral students funded by the programme spend half of each project year in Germany at three partner institutions (JLU, IAMO, and Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg) and the other half at TIIAME in Uzbekistan. The PhD research topics cover the issues of farm restructuring, agricultural innovation and technology, crop diversification, agricultural policy, environmental change and water governance in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.