The conference “Rural and Agricultural Advisory Systems:  examples of good governance for sustainable development” will take place in 24th of March 2015, in Tashkent, International Hotel Tashkent and is organized by the Latvian Embassy in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, the European Union Delegation in Tashkent, the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre, the Latvian Rural Network, the Ministry of Agriculture of Latvia, the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan.

Cooperation with Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) is one of the priorities for the Latvian presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU). In the EU Multiannual Indicative Programme for Central Asia 2014 – 2020, sustainable regional development is highlighted as one of priority areas. Specifically, support for the regulatory framework for market access, enabling a business framework stemming from international practices in the development of a sustainable private sector, and an easy setup and management of small and medium-sized enterprises are earmarked as areas of cooperation.

During its presidency at the Council of the EU, Latvia will further promote its successful bilateral ties with Central Asian countries with the aim of the introduction of its experience in the areas of rural and agricultural advisory systems and boosting of agricultural production. Furthermore, Latvia is one of the founders of the European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (EUFRAS), an EU-wide network with the headquarters based in Latvia. EUFRAS seeks to improve the advisors’ qualification standards as well as supporting advisory services in their efforts to promote innovation and knowledge transfer in rural areas and agriculture.

Advisory systems are set up as a consultation mechanism focused on the improvement of productivity in various sectors of agriculture – crop farming, animal husbandry, forestry etc., as well as the introduction of good governance mechanisms in order to increase productivity of small and medium enterprises. High quality policy planning and fruitful cooperation between public actors and farmers is crucial to ensure sustainability of agriculture.

When setting up its rural and agricultural advisory system, Latvia learned from Denmark – and now both have a countrywide network of experts and consultants providing advice to farmers. For several years, Latvia and its partners in the European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services have been active in sharing their best practices with the Central Asian countries. A number of delegations comprised of policy planners, representatives from municipalities and agricultural managers representing EU countries and Central Asian countries have visited EU farms and enterprises.

The conference will build up on the results achieved so far and offer a forum for discussions among policy planners and agriculture managers from various EU member states, EU institutions and representatives from Central Asia.

The main objective of the conference is to share the EU’s lessons learned on establishment and governance of agriculture and advisory systems as well as share best practices towards the improvement of agricultural production. More specifically, the event will cover:

  • Necessary preconditions for successful development of rural advisory systems: legal and policy framework;
  • Setting up of rural advisory systems after the collapse of planned economy;
  • Introduction of good governance and management principles in various sectors of agriculture and fisheries;
  • Methods for practical guidance and mentoring of small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises (dairy, beef, fruit production, fisheries etc.).

The conference will provide an opportunity to share experience on various advisory and extension systems and to initiate discussions on the organisational structures, sources of funding and best practices in improving the efficiency of various governance models in agriculture focused on improving both agricultural production and management systems. As the result of the practical conference:

  • practical support and policy advice will be ensured for small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises;
  • cooperation will be strengthened between the decision makers and stakeholders involved in rural and agricultural advisory in EU Member states and Central Asian countries.

Participants: representatives from ministries, state agencies, professional organizations representing advisory systems active in agricultural sector in the EU Member States and Central Asian countries, as well as representatives from EU institutions – the European Commission and the EU Delegation.

The main outcome of the conference will be the identification of future possibilities for international cooperation in the development of rural advisory and extension services in Central Asian countries.

Working languages of the conference will be Russian and English (interpretation provided).

Draft Agenda and Registration form

Ms. Maija Sirvide
Department of Projects and Development
Ltd. Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre
Address: Rīgas 34, Ozolnieki, Ozolnieku pagasts, Ozolnieku novads, LV-3018, Latvia
Phone: (+371)-63050220; (+371) 63020513 Fax: (+371) 63022264
Mobile: (+371) 29553548