Workshop Report: Kazakhstan Stakeholder Consultations
This analytical report summarizes a four-day, multi-location stakeholder workshop held in Kazakhstan, which was designed to support project start-up activities for the USAID Integration Pilot awarded to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) titled “Improving the Climate Resiliency of Kazakhstan Wheat and Central Asian Food Security” (CRW). The report details the process and outcomes of the workshops, while also discussing the challenges facing the wheat sector in Kazakhstan with a focus on climate change and variability. The audience is the Kazakh wheat sector, but the lessons learned can be applied within other country agricultural sectors. As examples of thematic challenges facing the wheat sector, participants voiced the following categories:
- Farm equipment and agricultural chemicals
- Availability of high quality seed varieties
- Lack of skilled farmers and agricultural specialists
- Poor climate information
- Wheat sector economics
- Economic safety net
A number of small group exercises are detailed in the report such as “Decision-making at the farm level” and “Options for addressing vulnerability”, which helped to raise awareness and determine the workshop conclusions and next steps.Excerpt from the report:
The report summarized four key conclusions and next steps that were gathered from the Kazakhstan workshops. As an example, the first set of conclusions and next steps is listed below.
Conclusion #1: Even in the absence of climate change, Kazakh wheat faces a litany of challenges in developing the attributes of a strong, commercially sustainable sector, including:
- Updating and improving the quality of aging and depreciated farm machinery and equipment, with access to financing and affordable equipment significant obstacles;
- Increasing access to high quality seed, enabling farmers to adapt to drought, diversify crop varieties, and take advantage of favorable growing conditions for high valued crops;
- Improving soil/land management practices and crop cultivation methods;
- Accessing affordable and higher quality farm inputs such as herbicides and pesticides;
- Building capacity for more highly skilled workforce in agriculture;
- Improving the economics of wheat production, including the economic safety net in response to extreme events.
Next Steps: Although there are no plans to prepare an adaptation strategy for the wheat sector under CRW, it is proposed to develop a report on adaptation options that is structured similarly to the USAID Mainstreaming Framework and assesses options in the context of sector objectives, inputs and enabling conditions, and accounts for both climate and non-climate stressors.