SUSADICA – Structured doctoral programme on Sustainable Agricultural Development in Central Asia

Agricultural development in Central Asia requires a systemic approach that accounts for the various implications of agriculture resource use for economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Currently, there is no place in Central Asia where such an approach has been instituted in an academic environment that links cutting edge research to graduate education at international standards. This project aims at the creation of a collaborative research environment for doctoral researchers that is based at the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization Engineers (TIIAME) in Uzbekistan and that is established and maintained jointly with IAMO, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) and a network of international partners. The establishment of this Graduate School is driven by four guiding principles: (A) competitive and transparent recruitment of doctoral researchers, (B) focus on research topics that build a bridge between the international academic discourse and agricultural development challenges relevant for Central Asia, (C) structured education and training of the doctorate students that enables them to conduct independent research, and (D) integration into a network of international partners and events. Doctoral researchers for the Graduate School are recruited internationally in an open call for applications and will be selected based on their prior qualification. Research and education are structured along a matrix defined by the three dimensions of economic, social, and ecological sustainability and the five research areas (1) farm restructuring & labor relations, (2) agricultural innovations & technology, (3) agricultural policy, (4) environmental change & agriculture, (5) water governance.

Link to SUSADICA project 

Project duration: since 01 January 2019 - 31. December 2022

Funding: VolkswagenFoundation

Contact: Dr. Daniel Müller

FORLAND: Agricultural Land Markets – Efficiency and Regulation

The lease and purchase prices of agricultural land have risen steadily in recent years. The DFG research group “Agricultural Land Markets - Efficiency and Regulation” (FORLand) deals with the functioning and efficiency of agricultural land markets and land market regulation. The project objectives are to develop a better understanding of land purchase and lease prices, to assess the impact of market mechanisms and rising prices on society and the environment, as well as the impact of government intervention in the land market. Within the research group, IAMO staff members analyse spatio-temporal interdependencies between market outcomes and environmental impacts, the ethical question of land markets, and whether state regulation of land markets can meet the expectations placed on them.

Project duration: 01.08.2017 - 31.07.2020

Funding: DFG

Link

Contact: Dr. Daniel Müller

PASANOA: Pathways to sustainable land management in Northern Argentina

PASANOA will:

  • focus on the part of the Argentine Chaco within the five provinces of Salta, Formosa, Santiago del Estero, and Chaco
  • provide new insights into the trade-offs and synergies between agricultural production, ES provisioning and biodiversity
  • explore drivers of land use decisions and how they vary across land systems
  • assess how trade-offs between production and conservation land uses may vary across a set of plausible future land-use scenarios
  • identify optimal landscape patterns that mitigate trade-offs along with guidance on how to implement such landscapes.

Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Bioeconomy International

LINK 

Contact: Dr. Daniel Müller, Dr. Zhanli Sun

BALTRAK: Balancing trade-offs between agriculture and biodiversity

The Vokswagen Foundation will fund a new 3-year-project in Kazakhstan headed up by the Working Group Ecosystem Research. Together with our Kazakhstani partners at the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan (ACBK) and Karaganda university, as well as the German partners at University of Muenster and HU Berlin we will implement a three-year research project entitled ‘Balancing trade-offs between agriculture and biodiversity in the steppes of Kazakhstan (BALTRAK)’. Within the project, we will analyze agricultural and restoration potentials on abandoned arable land, the distribution of key steppe grassland biodiversity (small mammals, birds and plants), and biodiversity responses to changing agricultural use and wildfires. Ultimately, we aim to develop strategies to reconcile agriculture and biodiversity, and contribute to the development of protected areas in Central Asia.

Funding: The Volkswagen Foundation

Project website

Contact: Dr. Daniel Müller, Dr. Florian Schierhorn

Finished Projects

GERUKA: Global food security and the grain markets of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan [Globale Ernährungssicherung und die Getreidemärkte Russlands, der Ukraine und Kasachstans] 

GERUKA is funded by the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) and the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE). Our group analyzes agricultural production potentials for the selected case study regions (Lviv, Ukraine; Kostanay, Kazakhstan; Ryazan, Russian Federation).

 

KULUNDA: How to prevent the next "Global Dust Bowl"? – Ecological and Economic Strategies for Sustainable Land Management in the Russian Steppes: A Potential Solution to Climate Change

 

EPIKUR: Economic and natural potentials of agricultural production and carbon trade‐offs in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Russia 

EPIKUR assesses agricultural production potentials consisting of yield gaps and unused land resources in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Russia. Yield gaps are estimated by combing spatially explicit crop growth models with farm-level efficiency analyses. A spatial allocation model is used to estimate production potentials of abandoned land. Future production potentials are assessed under scenarios of technological progress, climate change, and the economics of recultivation. The assessment of production increases includes a trade‐off analysis between CO2 emissions and economic benefits of recultivation. EPIKUR contributes to building a strong network for advancing the science and understanding of agricultural potentials in transition economies.  

  

I-REDD+: Impacts of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation and Enhancing Carbon Stocks 

I-REDD+ is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. Our group is responsible for scrutinizing potentials and pitfalls of MRV of REDD+-type activities.

 

VOLANTE: Visions of Land-Use Transitions in Europe 

VOLANTE  is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. We support the VOLANTE-group at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in analyzing drivers and hotspots of land-use transitions in Europe.