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Agricultural Transitions along the Silk Road
Restructuring, Resources and Trade in the Central Asia Region

IAAE Inter-Conference Symposium
Almaty (Kazakhstan) | 4 – 6 April 2016

Since ancient times, the Silk Road has served as a hub for the exchange of valued commodities, ideas and people between Asia and Europe. Emerging from the conditions of a socialist order in this part of the world, the countries in the region opted for their own unique paths of transition. However, agriculture has remained important for rural employment and livelihoods in all countries. Questions of irrigation management, land reform, food security and government earnings from agriculture highlight the importance of the sector for general economic development across the region.

Each country individually and the region collectively face formidable challenges to agricultural development at various scales that still need to be solved. Among these are the slow adaptation to climate change and increasing frequencies of droughts and water scarcity, rural labor outmigration, a lack of well-functioning markets, intraregional trade, water cooperation, and effective policies to produce the desired local outcomes. Exports are concentrated in a few primary products. The gains from specialization and trade are still to be realized, as an institutional setting for regional cooperation in Central Asia is missing.

An advanced understanding of the development processes in Central Asian agriculture is important as the sectors’ further transformation will be crucial for regional economic growth. Learning the lessons from the past 25 years will contribute to solving salient issues on the current policy agenda. The diversity of pathways originating from a joint heritage and the acute development challenges make the region attractive for comparative theoretical and empirical work that informs both academia and policymakers.

The conference will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in the conference facilities of the Kazakh National Agrarian University (KazNAU). The conference language is English. Simultaneous translation from/to Russian will be provided.

The conference is jointly organized by:

The conference will be held within the scope of AGRIWANET. A project dealing with agricultural restructuring, water scarcity and the adaptation to climate change in Central Asia.