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Agriculture could stabilize Central Asian economies

Agriculture is able to stabilize the economies of Central Asia during the coronavirus pandemic. Sergei Zorya, World Bank’s Senior Agricultural Economist, believes.

According to him, the COVID-19 pandemic did not lead to a significant destabilization of world food markets. However, its consequences pose a certain threat to food security, agriculture and agricultural exports in Central Asia.

The crisis provoked by the coronavirus, unlike the global food crisis of 2008-2009, has not yet significantly affected international food markets. This is due to the presence of large world stocks of grain, as well as stable prices for basic foodstuffs, which is explained by a smaller number of countries that have limited food exports.

This has mitigated the negative effects on food security and agriculture in Central Asia.

«In 2020, agriculture can become one of the main stabilizing factors and a growth driver for the economies of Central Asia. Moreover, it is able to provide more jobs than any other industry. After the pandemic, governments need to focus on restoring agricultural trade in Central Asia, improving regional cooperation in the areas of sanitary and phytosanitary safety, managing state food reserves, and increasing investments in veterinary services and digitalizing the agri-food sector,» Sergei Zorya said.

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