VEGETABLE RESEARCH IN CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS TO ENHANCE NUTRITIONAL SECURITY AND LIVELIHOODS
The eight independent countries of Central Asia and the Caucasus Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan have a combined land area of 4.2 million km2, of which about 70% is classified as agricultural land. The region has a population of approximately 79 million people, with about 30 to 50% of the poor living in rural areas. Vegetable crops help ensure nutritional security for the region; in 2010, vegetables were cultivated on about 783,200 ha and gross production was 17,468,700 t. Yet average productivity of vegetable crops is below potential; there is little off-season production, with only 15% of total vegetable production available from November to March. Vegetable production in Central Asia and the Caucasus has good prospects, provided the required infrastructure is created, production is intensified and diversified, improved cultivars and appropriate technologies are introduced and adopted, postharvest operations and marketing are strengthened, and capacity building is carried out. All countries in the region have agricultural research development strategies linked to national priorities for science. To assist in the development of market-oriented vegetable production systems and to promote vegetable research strategies for national partners, AVRDC The World Vegetable Center established the Central Asia and Caucasus Regional Network for Vegetable Systems Research and Development (CACVEG) in 2006. The network strengthens regional capacity in vegetable production through academic studies, training and farmers days, and has been instrumental in ensuring new varieties of vegetable crops are tested in state trials and released in the region. These new varieties play an important role in farm diversification, crop rotation, improving the nutritional quality of diets, and increasing farmers income.
Mavlyanova, R. (2014). VEGETABLE RESEARCH IN CENTRAL ASIA AND THE CAUCASUS TO ENHANCE NUTRITIONAL SECURITY AND LIVELIHOODS. Acta Hortic. 1033, 39-45
food security, CAC region, vegetables, approaches, CACVEG Network