The paper examines the impact of sectoral transformation in agriculture on sustainable development in North and Central Asia. It discusses trends and developments of agriculture and structural transformation, as well as its effects on sustainable development in the subregion.
Since the breakdown of Soviet-Union, the subregion underwent economic and political transformation and recorded positive growth after eight years. In the course of transition, all countries in the subregion experienced constantly declining shares of agriculture in gross domestic product. However, the agriculture sector still employs a large share of the population, especially in rural areas. Potential gains from intrasectoral transformation in agriculture should not be underestimated. Increasing sectoral productivity, and hence profitability, bears the prospective to lift millions of people out of poverty while optimizing resource efficiency.
Sustainable agriculture transformation needs to be mainstreamed across the subregion. This can be facilitated by customization of national sustainable agriculture transformation plans, reassessment of current agriculture subsidies structure to target more efficient production inputs, leveraging private sector investment for agriculture modernisation, promote agricultural water use efficiency to combat water stress and strengthen regional cooperation to ensure supply chain resilience. These efforts to support the agriculture sector will in turn contribute to achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.