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Agriculture and Rural Development

Backhaul to the future – Can digital technology make Central Asia’s agriculture competitive?

Julian Lampietti's picture
Shutterstock Photo

Whether matching drivers with riders or landlords with lodgers, digital platforms like Uber and AirBnB push the marginal cost of matching supply and demand to an unprecedented low. Large infrastructure projects like China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative - which aims at more closely linking the two ends of Eurasia, as well as Africa and Oceania - could create an opportunity to alter the future of Central Asia’s agriculture, if food supply and demand can be matched more efficiently.

Water flows from the spring of Kyrgyzstan’s snowy mountains

Bolormaa Amgaabazar's picture
Also available in: Русский
Togotoi is a small mountainous village in the south of the Kyrgyz Republic. Last month, some colleagues and I traveled there to participate in a ceremony to mark the opening of a newly-built water supply system. Mr. Askarov, Vice-Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic and Mr. Sarybashov, Governor of Osh Oblast, opened the celebrations, signifying the high importance of this event for the local population.

The new water supply system at Togotoi is the first project to become operational under the Government’s National Rural Drinking Water Supply Program, which was launched last year and was called “Ala-Too Bulagy” – meaning “spring of snowy mountains.”
Togotoi villagers and school children celebrate the opening of their new water system.

Proud to celebrate 25 years of partnership for a more prosperous and equal Romania

Elisabetta Capannelli's picture
Also available in: Română | Русский

In 1991, the World Bank Group opened its resident office in Bucharest and this November we will celebrate 25 years of continued presence in Romania. Romania joined the World Bank in 1972, yet it is really 1991 that marks the opening of the institution’s presence in Romania and our new role in a free and democratic nation. 

A quarter century is the measure of a generation and it is as an important milestone for an institution, as it is for a human being. Our presence in Romania has matured together with the country’s first generation of people born in a free economy and society. The challenges they faced, where the face of our support for change. 

Onoraţi să sărbătorim 25 de ani de parteneriat pentru o Românie mai prosperă și mai echitabilă

Elisabetta Capannelli's picture
Also available in: English | Русский

Grupul Banca Mondială a deschis biroul din București în anul 1991, iar în luna noiembrie a acestui an vom aniversa 25 de ani de activitate continuă în România. România a început colaborarea cu Banca Mondială în anul 1972, însă anul 1991 marchează deschiderea oficială a biroului din România și noul nostru rol în susținerea unei națiuni libere și democrate. 

Un sfert de secol reprezintă măsura unei generații și este un eveniment important atât pentru o instituție, cât și pentru o ființă umană. Prezența noastră în România s-a maturizat împreună cu prima generație de persoane născute într-o societate și o economie liberă. Provocările cu care s-a confruntat această generaţie, au fost reflecția susținerii noastre pentru schimbare.  

Securing Serbia’s farming future

Bekzod Shamsiev's picture
A farmer in pepper greenhouse, Central Serbia.
Photo: Jutta Benzenberg/World Bank
As Serbia moves to join the European Union, smallholder farmers like Goran Matic are concerned about the challenges of integrating with a highly competitive market of half-a-billion consumers. He is not alone. Many farmers throughout southeastern Europe are asking whether family farms can compete with commercial farms and agribusiness conglomerates and whether “farming heritage" as we know it can survive.
There are no simple answers.
The opportunities and challenges of EU accession
When economies integrate with foreign markets, trading opportunities, consumer choices and knowledge and technology exchanges increase. However, openness also exerts pressures on industries – including farming – to improve productivity in order to remain in business. Serbia finds itself at this very juncture. The decision to join the European Union (EU) and integrate with the EU’s highly competitive single market of 500 million consumers has raised the stakes for its economy overall, but especially agriculture.

De ce este nevoie pentru a moderniza administrația publică? Lecții din România

Irina Schuman's picture
Also available in: English | Русский

România s-a transformat extrem de mult în ultimele câteva decenii. La fel ca și vecinii săi, fosta economie de tranziție s-a angajat în mod decisiv integrarea în Uniunea Europeană (UE). Acest lucru a creat oportunități foarte mari atât pentru cetățenii acestei ţări, cât și pentru economie.  

Transformarea care a urmat a avut un impact pozitiv asupra agriculturii și zonelor rurale. Politica Agricolă Comună a asigurat un cadru de politici competent, favorizând investițiile în agricultură și răsplătind practicile agricole ecologice. Totodată, aceasta a generat o schimbare instituțională prin introducerea sistemelor TI moderne și practicilor de management a fondurilor UE, cât și prin alocarea a 24 miliarde de euro pentru România și locuitorii din zonele rurale până în 2020.

Totuși, transformarea s-a dovedit a fi disproporționată în sectorul agricol și rural, cât și în administrarea sectoarelor.

Care a fost motivul?

What does it take to modernize government administration? Lessons from Romania

Irina Schuman's picture
Also available in: Română | Русский

Romania has transformed tremendously in the past decades.  Like its neighbors, the former transition economy has decisively committed to European Union (EU) integration. This has opened up great opportunities for both its citizens and its economy.  

This transformation has had a positive impact on agriculture and rural areas. The European Common Agricultural Policy provided a sound policy framework, emphasizing investment in agriculture and rewarding environmentally friendly farming. It also drove institutional change by introducing modern IT systems and practices for the management of EU funds, as well as by committing €24 billion for the Romanian farmers and rural dwellers through 2020.

Yet, the transformation has proven unequal in the agriculture and rural sector, as well as in the sector administration.

Why was this the case?

A Remarkable Man

Meriem Gray's picture
Also available in: Română | Русский
Igor Tkach

Igor Tkach is a remarkable man.

As he stands tall and proud in the middle of one of the fields, his voice is loud and clear. And even the bitterly cold wind couldn’t stop him from telling his story. “We had absolutely nothing. Even the window frames were looted,” he said. He was talking about those turbulent times following the collapse of the Soviet Union. As he talked, I recalled my own Soviet-era childhood. What he was saying hit close to home.

Collaboration is key to food security in Central Asia

Polina Bogomolova's picture
Also available in: Русский

Central Asia is a fascinating region with a diverse natural environment and a rich food culture. A visitor to the region might be surprised, therefore, to discover that access to “sufficient, safe and nutritious food” on a daily basis can be challenging for many people.

A highly agrarian region, with over 40% of the population living in rural areas, Central Asia faces a number of food security challenges – shaped by both traditional and modern food practices. While undernourishment, mostly driven by traditional diet, remains a challenge in countries such as Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, obesity and over-weight attributed to recent welfare improvements and newly-opened access to a wide variety of non-traditional foodstuffs, have already become a concern in many countries of the region.