CASI Research Seminar:

CASI Research Seminar: "A Study of the Implications of the Customs Union on Food Security in Kyrgyzstan"

May 14, 2015

May 14, 2015

Abstract: The aim of this research was to investigate and understand the impact that Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Customs Union will have on food security in Kyrgyzstan. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food security exists “when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Although Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Customs Union is touted as a strategy to ensure sustainable economic growth, to pursue modernization of the economy, and to reduce (or at least halt) development gaps with other CU countries, the challenges the country already faces will continue to complicate the economic reforms and integration processes associated with accession. All of these have important implications for food security in Kyrgyzstan. Our primary interest was to investigate the anticipated effects of the CU on food production, distribution, consumption, and regulation networks on the eve of accession, in order to establish a base for comparing those findings with how things actually turn out in the months following accession. Such data will be useful for identifying, not in the abstract, but with actual cases, the early warning signs of potential problems in the short term, but also the markers for success where restructuring of the food industry is concerned.

Bios of presenters:

Dr. Deborah Dergousoff is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) where she is teaching the Senior Thesis Seminar, a course in Gender Studies, and a section of the First Year Seminar program. Deborah received her PhD in Sociology from Simon Fraser University in Canada in June 2014. Her dissertation entitled, An Institutional Ethnography of Women Entrepreneurs and Post-Soviet Rural Economies in Kyrgyzstan, involved one year of fieldwork in Kyrgyzstan during 2010-2011. She has presented papers at the annual Congress for Humanities and Social Sciences in Canada, shared her research at conferences of the International Centre of Research and Information on Public and Cooperative Economy (CIRIEC) in both Canada and Sweden, and also presented a paper at the 3rd EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise sponsored by the European Research Network at Roskilde University, Denmark (2011).

Gulmira Churokova is currently an Instructor in Sociology Department at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA), where she teaches Sociology of Culture, Sociology of Conflict and Introduction to Sociology. Gulmira holds M.Sc. degree in International Economics and Public Policy from Johannes Gutenberg Mainz University, Germany, and BA in Sociology from AUCA. Her research interest is in migration and political economy of Central Asia.

Nurlan Choibekov completed his MA in Politics and Security (Central Asian) at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – Academy (OSCE-Academy), 2012, BA in Sociology at the American University of Central Asian (AUCA), 2011. His research interest is in religious identity, cultural transformation, and public policy within Central Asian states

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