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PRESS RELEASE

Eurasian Food Security Network and Eurasian Soil Partnership Established in Russia

November 18, 2013

World Bank and Eurasian Center for Food Security jointly initiate forum to discuss food security and soil issues in Eurasia

Moscow, November 18, 2013 – World Bank and the Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS) today jointly launched an international conference to initiate the “Eurasian Food Security Network and Eurasian Soil Partnership”. The three-day event is aimed to provide a forum for building partnerships on food security and soil issues critical to Eurasian countries, as well as for discussing the educational needs of food security specialists in the region.

Dr. Sergey Kiselev, ECFS Director, will host the conference, and Michal Rutkowski, Country Director for Russia, and Dina Umali-Deininger, Sector Manager for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Europe and Central Asia Region, will represent the World Bank at the event. Several senior government officials are expected to attend including Mr. Andrei Bokarev, Director, Department of International Financial Relations, Ministry of Finance, and Mr. Vladimir Chernigov, Advisor to Minister of Agriculture and Mr. Yuri Tsvetkov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Prof. Kiselev said: “By bringing together many of our Eurasian neighbors and regional and international experts for this conference we hope to build a strong network of expertise to address the critical food security challenges faced in the region, and develop new collaborations with regional and international organizations to develop suitable education programs to address food security needs in the region and undertake timely and relevant research on pressing challenges.”  

The “Networkingday of the Conference (November 18) will focus on the design and initiation of the Eurasian food security network by assessing key food security challenges in the Eurasian countries, and building on best practices existing across the globe.  Expected participants include representatives of Armenia, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as well as several international organizations including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GRFAR), and the Central Asia and Caucasus Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (CACAARI).

The “Learning” day (November 19) aims to identify key educational needs of food security experts in the region, which will then serve as a basis for the development of new educational programs on food security issues by ECFS, including distance learning programs.

The “Soil” day of the Conference (November 20) will mark the establishment of the Eurasian node of the Global Soil Partnership, take stock of the soil studies in the target Eurasian countries, and serve as a basis for development of common strategy for the sub-regional soil partnership in Eurasia.

About the Eurasian Center for Food Security

In the context of the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative launched at the 2009 G-8 Summit in L’Aquila, Italy, global leaders committed to taking necessary measures to improve world food security, including measures related to agricultural research and education. As part of this commitment, the Government of the Russian Federation has established the Eurasian Center for Food Security which is expected to become a center of excellence for agricultural expertise catalyzing agricultural development in the Eurasia region.  The Center is based at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The objectives of the ECFS include the establishment of a dynamic regional community of practice of specialists and practitioners, development of food security educational programs targeted for the region, and collaboration on research with lead international organizations. 

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/ECA