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TSUE Online Conference “Sustainable agricultural development and regional cooperation for inclusive growth in Central Asia” held on October 20-22, 2020.

06 November 2020

October 20-22, the TSUE Conference 2020 featured an opportunity for representatives from science and politics to discuss “Sustainable agricultural development and regional cooperation for inclusive growth in Central Asia”. The event was organized online via the Zoom platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the opening session, prominent speakers like Kongratbay Sharipov (Rector of TSUE, Uzbekistan), Friedrich Wacker (Director General, German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture), Ekaterina Krivonos (CGIAR System Organization), Johan Swinnen (Director General, IFPRI, USA), and Thomas Glauben (director, IAMO, Germany). The welcome addresses were followed by a keynote speech by Josef Schmidhuber, Deputy Director in the Trade and Markets Division of the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), on the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural trade. On the second day, Uktam Umurzakov (Rector of Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration), Botirjon Sulaymonov (Rector of Tashkent State Agrarian University), Zoir Mirzayev (Governor of Kashkadarya Region) and Qobul Tursunov (Governor of Navoi Region) welcomed the South-East-Asian participants in a morning session. The third day featured a panel discussion on “Science-driven Policymaking for Sustainable and Inclusive Agricultural Development” with prominent participants from various policy and research institutions.

For three days, 180 participants attended presentations in 18 parallel sessions, one panel discussion and four keynote speeches by Dr. Josef Schmidhuber (FAO), Hyun-Hoon Lee (Kangwon National University), Barbara Janusz-Pawletta (Kazakh-German University) and Eugenia Serova (HSE Moscow).
One key event of the conference was the panel discussion on the last day. The panel of national and international experts from science, consultancy, and politics discussed science-driven policymaking for sustainable and inclusive agricultural development. The panel discussants were Kamiljon Akramov, Leader of Central Asia Program at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA, Shuhrat Amanov, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Adkham Bekmuradov, Executive Director of the “El-Yurt Umidi” Foundation, Uzbekistan, Adrian Neal, advisor of the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan, and Eugenia Serova Institute for Agrarian Studies in the Higher School of Economies, Russian Federation. Aziza Umarova,, Uzbekistan, moderated the panel discussion. As panel discussants noted, global experience should be combined with local research to identify locally adapted policy instruments for sustainability of food systems in the context of COVID-19. Towards this aim, the discipline of agricultural economics should be further developed in the region to strengthen research capacities at universities and research institutes.