Staple food prices, livelihood activities and transitory food insecurity in the Kyrgyz Republic
Post-Soviet countries in Central Asia are imprinted by a unique historical legacy which continually complicate their development choices. This is a case study of post-Soviet development, as seen through the lens of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Kyrgyz Republic has faced repeated shocks and experienced transitory periods of food insecurity in the recent past. To understand these development phenomena, this research mixed quantitative and qualitative components in a multi-phase design to examine seasonal aspects of staple food price spikes and the impact of dominant Kyrgyz livelihood activities. Concentric elements of Sustainable Livelihoods approaches, New Economics of Labor Migration, and Sustainable Human Development provided a theoretical base for investigation. Phase I examined staple food price patterns and available Kyrgyz household-level survey data via quantitative analysis for links to seasonal periods of transitory food insecurity. Phase II used qualitative surveys and profiles collected within Kyrgyz staple food markets to include multiple perspectives and aid interpretation. Research findings related a need for greater inclusion in Kyrgyz household survey data, resulting in a recommendation to improve targeting of existing survey efforts in ex-urban areas with growing populations of internal migrants. Research findings also pointed to potentially expanding frequency of collection, in order to capture seasonal elements of Kyrgyz livelihood activities currently not reflected in publicly available household level data. Research conclusions discuss potential mechanisms to increase participation in development policy formation at local and regional levels to lower costs and improve the quality of implementation.