Central Asia Research Seminar: Agricultural Transformation in Central Asia: The Case of Kyrgyzstan

Date: 09 May 2017
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI),
Conference Room 4AB, Washington, DC, USA
9 May 2017, 12:30-14:00 Eastern Time Zone (UTC-05:00)

The agricultural sector in Central Asia underwent a series of important reforms during the last two and a half decades. These reforms significantly changed the institutional structure of the sector and led to new agricultural production patterns in the region. Nevertheless, compared to other countries, Central Asian countries have experienced a slower agricultural transformation, which is demonstrated by a slower decline in employment share in agriculture compared to its output share; moderate growth in labor and land productivity; and a slower shift in agricultural output from traditional to high-value products.

To expedite transformation, Central Asian countries will need to promote long term productivity growth in agriculture and facilitate upgrading of their farms and agro-enterprises within modern value chains. Four papers in this seminar provide evidence on kidney beans and sheep meat value chains development; contractual arrangements, food safety compliance, and challenges in the dairy supply chain; welfare effects of smallholder export participation; and effects of income shocks on employment and migration in Kyrgyzstan. The authors use diverse sources of household survey data, including the Life in Kyrgyzstan Survey, the Kyrgyzstan Integrated Household Survey, the Dairy Value Chain Survey, etc.

This seminar is organised by IFPRI's Central Asia Program in collaboration with the University of Central Asia, Dr Tilman Brück (IGZ/ISDC), and Dr Damir Esenaliev (SIPRI).

Moderator: Kamiljon Akramov, IFPRI 

12:30 – 13:00
Export- and Domestic-Market-Oriented Value Chains in the Kyrgyz Agriculture: the Cases of Kidney Beans and Sheep Meat, Dr Kanat Tilekeyev, University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

This presentation draws on two value chain studies, which provide an in-depth analysis of the limits of production capacity, internal and external market structure, and technological constraints in sheep meat and beans value chains in Kyrgyzstan. The study considers two agricultural markets – domestic and export-oriented –  and different types of institutional arrangements supporting and constraining their impact on the Kyrgyz agriculture. The presentation will highlight current challenges and opportunities for the development of sheep meat and beans value chains in Kyrgyzstan.

Discussant: Artavazd Hakobyan, The World Bank

13:00 – 13:30
Welfare Effects of Smallholder Export Participation in Kyrgyzstan, Damir Esenaliev, SIPRI, Stockholm, Sweden

Based on an econometric analysis of household-level panel data, the study examines the welfare effects of export participation on small-scale farmers in Kyrgyzstan. It examines the determinants of export participation and the associated welfare effects. The paper finds that participation in export is driven by labor allocation, product types and location. The study documents a positive welfare effect in the agricultural income and total household income of exporting households, but no effect on aggregate consumption or asset holdings.

Discussant: Hiroyuki Takeshima, IFPRI
14:30 – 14:00
Employment and Migration Responses to Income Shocks: Evidence from Kyrgyzstan, Katrina Kosec, IFPRI

This paper uses Kyrgyzstan Integrated Household Survey (KIHS) panel data from 2004-2014 and simulated instrumental variables to analyze the causal effects of income shocks on agricultural households’ employment and migration patterns. Specifically, it examines income shocks due to agricultural price changes for a basket of goods frequently sold by sample households. The paper finds that negative shocks to household income have an immediate effect of reducing the share of household members who are employed. They also spur both long-distance internal migration and international migration. They do not, however, affect whether youth pursue education beyond compulsory education. Among wage laborers, negative income shocks also contribute to greater reliance on informal, verbal contracts, possibly indicating the greater vulnerability of wage laborers to loss of their livelihoods. However, these impacts appear to be short-lived; provided incomes in the next year return to baseline levels, we do not find enduring impacts of the previous year’s negative income shock. This suggests some degree of resilience of households to transitory income shocks.

Discussant: Dr Roman Mogilevski, University of Central Asia, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
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