Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Famine Doesn’t Threaten Central Asia but Many Foods are Becoming Harder to Obtain, Marmontova Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Aug. 26 – At present there is no threat of famine in Central Asia, but many foods are becoming harder to find because of supplies and purchase because of rising costs for some groups of the population in many of the countries there, Kazakh scholar Taisiya Marmontova says. And that alone is likely to generate significant social and political instability.

            Speaking to a teleconference yesterday and food security in Central Asia organized by the Eurasian Monitoring Center in Nur Sultan where she works, Marmontova said that there was little risk of famine but great risk of food shortages in many parts of the region (realtribune.ru/grozit-li-golod-centralnoj-azii).

            The impact of the pandemic and of the war in Ukraine has compounded the problems in this area Central Asian countries face because of rapidly rising populations – the region now has 76 million people and will soon have 100 million – and equally rapidly declining supplies of arable land and water to irrigate it.

            If those problems are not addressed now, Marmontova and other participants said, the future is dire and even without a famine, food shortages are going to become the cause of serious social, economic and political conflicts.

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