The Kyrgyz Agro-Input Enterprise Development (KAED) Follow-On project is helping to counter setbacks to agricultural intensification in the wake of Kyrgyz political and social disruptions in the spring of 2010. Mirroring its predecessor projects, which ran from 2001-2010, IFDC is mobilizing and supporting private enterprise entrepreneurs, farmers and commodity chains that offer the greatest potential for improving sustainable agricultural production and food security. The Follow-On project is also focusing on improving employment opportunities, particularly in the southern areas of the country.
The previous two-year Kyrgyz Agro-Input Enterprise Development II (KAED II) project demonstrated how a private sector, market-based response to the food crisis of 2008 could provide cost-effective support to farmers in need, while simultaneously providing the incentives and foundations for increased agricultural production and incomes. Under the award-winning KAED II project, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided emergency relief by funding the provision of improved seed varieties, livestock feed and fertilizer, which were distributed at a subsidized cost through private sector value chain participants. Farmers who would use the inputs most effectively to increase production were also included. In 2009, these efforts, combined with favorable weather conditions, contributed to a record wheat harvest that met the nation’s annual demand for the first time in years (1.1 million mt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA]). More than 1,000 hectares (ha) were planted with new wheat varieties that year, yielding an estimated 5,000 metric tons (mt) of seed. The income generated from the sale of this seed totaled almost $3 million. An additional $12.2 million was created in 2011, compared with 2010, from the EDF Phase I investment of $4.1 million.
The Follow-On project is assisting the Kyrgyz agriculture sector to recover to those record highs. One million metric tons (mt) of wheat was projected to be produced in 2011. The USDA estimated the actual wheat harvest to be 800,000 mt, attributed to the political upheaval in 2010. Based on an estimated demand for 1.2 million mt wheat in 2012, the project is working in Year 2 in all the intervention areas to support the objective of achieving at least 85 percent of domestic self-sufficiency. The target is to help farmers produce an additional 200 mt of wheat in 2012, for a total of 1.15 million mt. The project is also further expanding distribution systems and networks to achieve sustained agricultural independence.
The Follow-On project is focusing on 20,000 progressive farmers who are planting the USAID-funded improved wheat varieties and 80,000 other farmers who are adopting better farming and animal care practices as a result of various project initiatives. Among those initiatives is the continuing public outreach campaign that has made the USAID/KAED brand so widely recognized across Kyrgyzstan. As institutional support, a strategically designed set of interventions is improving farmer awareness of best agricultural practices and knowledge of, and access to, yield-enhancing agricultural production technologies and related support services. The Follow-On project is also introducing a market-friendly voucher system and revolving fund for the distribution of the fertilizer procured under the project; it will target progressive farmers who have the greatest potential to double national average wheat yields.
The Global Development Alliance (GDA) between USAID and the Eurasia Group LLC Switzerland is a result of persistent efforts to attract international companies to the relatively small Kyrgyz market. This alliance has already proven to be a mutually beneficial and effective relationship that has been expanded under the project. Moreover, this alliance serves as a prime example of public-private partnership stimulus in such promising areas as poultry production and protein-rich crops for livestock feed. The Follow-On project is creating additional public-private partnerships (PPPs) that will facilitate technology introduction and business linkage development – both of which are essential to market sustainability.
Seed Assistance Voucher Program
USAID awarded implementation of the Seed Assistance Voucher Program in the Kyrgyz Republic to IFDC. The program was implemented through the Follow-On project jointly with the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). The goals of the project were to increase agriculture productivity and farmers’ incomes by providing farmers access to improved seed during the two-month spring planting season in 2011 and by promoting market participation by more progressive smallholder farmers.
Supported under USAID’s Economic Development Fund (EDF), the program provided seeds to approximately 30,000 selected farmers. An estimated 160 agricultural cooperatives and 81 seed enterprises in 42 rayons (districts) in all seven oblasts (provinces) throughout Kyrgyzstan have been involved in the program.
Because of the success of the original EDF Seed Assistance Voucher Program, the two-year EDF Phase II Agriculture Seed Investment Program was approved and became operational in October 2011. This additional complementary intervention area is incorporated into the ongoing project, and will extend the project by one year.
Fourteen farms were selected by MoA representatives and KAED project staff to receive assistance to acquire new and modern farm machinery as well as high-yielding seeds. All farms were visited twice to assess their potential for seed farming support.
IFDC’s strategic approach is to use a voucher program,
implemented in a market-based context, to provide targeted beneficiary farmers timely access to high quality seed, procured from seed farms. Each participating farmer received a voucher that can be exchanged for the indicated amount of commodity at the seed distribution point.
In the first year of the project,10 new wheat and other crop seed varieties were introduced and three courses on integrated pest management (IPM) and safe use of crop protection products (CPPs) were conducted. In Year 2 the project is working with the Government of Kyrgyzstan (GoK) and international seed suppliers to introduce five additional varieties of high-yield food and feed crops. The project is informing dealers, farmers and others about the safe and appropriate use of CPPs.
Additional components that are supporting the continued IFDC/USAID successes in Kyrgyzstan include: land rehabilitation; new partnerships to promote poultry and high-value feed crops; continued efforts to improve farming practices and sustainable support systems; collaboration with incentive-based service providers such as the Agribusiness Association of Kyrgyzstan (AAK) and other organizations; and a solid public outreach program.
The project is now focusing on the 2012 spring planting season. In addition to the planned trainings, the project team will focus on: (1) international tendering for agricultural equipment under the EDF Phase II Seed Investment Program; (2) development of an anticipated livestock program; (3) inauguration of rehabilitated sites in southern Kyrgyzstan; (4) a roundtable on poultry in northern Kyrgyzstan; and (5) implementation of pilot programs to produce compost fertilizer and liquid fertilizer from manure.
- In February the KAED Follow-On project, MoA and the Seed Association of Kyrgyzstan jointly hosted a Kyrgyz-Turkish business forum to promote networking and business relationships between Kyrgyz seed producers and potential Turkish, Russian and Kazakh investors and buyers in the seed industry. More than 200 representatives of seed businesses from Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan attended this event.
- A seventh dairy demonstration farm was established, located in Sokuluk rayon in Chui oblast. There are five project-assisted model dairy farms in northern Kyrygzstan and two in the southern part of the country. The success of these dairy demonstration farms is attracting the attention of other farmers who want to learn new technologies to improve their livestock operations. Veterinarians, who have been in short supply, are also choosing to practice in the areas with the dairy demonstration farms.
- The project imported 127 mt of Nitrophos fertilizer from Uzbekistan and distributed it via dealers to 783 farmers in southern Kyrgyzstan. The project also provided fertilizer to the Seed Testing Committee and to land rehabilitation sites in the south.
- Project staff organized seven technical trainings (for 272 farmers) and two roundtables.
- The project has collected about 70 percent ($160,000) of cost repayments for the two phases of fertilizer distributed. The project will use that recovery fund for part of its contribution to the GDA by supporting participating farmers with fertilizer and to provide fertilizer on rehabilitated lands and seed farms.
- The Follow-On project extended the GDA agreement with the Eurasia Group in the first quarter of 2012. Plans were developed and are underway to sow 2,694 ha of corn and 703 ha of sunflower. The fund will finance imports of approximately 280 mt of fertilizer. Another 2,800 farmers will benefit in 2012 from the commodity purchases. That will bring the project total in the two years to over 11,000 farmers, thus exceeding the target.
- In March 2012, a grant agreement was signed between the project and the TES Center aimed at setting the stage for a sustainable feed industry in the country and supporting farmers who are linking with the soybean value chain. This cooperation will ensure that: (1) soybean farmers have affordable, timely and reliable access to high quality soybean seeds and crop management practices; and (2) feed millers and suppliers have sufficient supplies of soybean and other protein crops to support livestock and poultry farms. The Follow-On project will provide a grant to the TES Center for purchase and delivery of soybean seed, inoculants and renting of land for soybean production. It is expected that as a result of this cooperation, 400 ha will be planted with soybeans. Farmers will be introduced to improved technologies for growing soybeans. The TES center and Tian Shan will invest $35,000 in this program.
- During the first quarter, a variety of information was published about the project, its programs and activities: 10 articles were published in the press; 14 TV spots and seven social ads were broadcast; 21 articles were placed on the Internet; and one program aired on radio. In addition, one article about the Seed Production Assistance Program and two success stories were placed on USAID’s Central Asia website.
- Land rehabilitation during the quarter was undertaken on three sites in southern Kyrgyzstan:
- In partnership with the local Water Users Associations and Nariman village council, Karasuu rayon, the project installed a new pump station with pipes and water gates to irrigate 117 ha of previously unused land. Over 60 families will benefit.
- Another 100-ha site located in Kashgar Kyshtak village council in Karasuu rayon will benefit 80 families.
- A third site located in Karavan village in Batken oblast will benefit 150 families by rehabilitating110 ha of land.
Updated May 2012
Kyrgyz Agro-Input Enterprise Development Follow-On Project Information
U.S. Government Improves Seed Production in the Kyrgyz Republic
Technical article on the improved feeding of laying hens, various types of fodder crops and poultry feed preparation (AgroVesti)
Technical article on the importance of crop rotation (AgroVesti)
Advanced Technologies Improved Farmers' Livelihoods (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 37, No.1)
KAED Follow-On Project Extend Seed/Voucher Program (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 37, No.1)
Roy Visits Successful KAED Project in Kyrgyzstan (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No.4)
2011 Marks 10th Anniversary of IFDC in Kyrgyzstan (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No.4)
USAID Mission Director Visits Land Reclamation Site in Kyrgyzstan and USAID, IFDC and Kyrgyz Ministry of Agriculture Launch Seed Assistance Voucher Program (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No.2)
USAID's Kyrgyzstan Follow-On Project Makes Early Progress (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No.1)
USAID and IFDC Launch Seed Assistance Voucher Program in the Kyrgyz Republic
Kyrgyz Agro-Input Enterprise Development Follow-On Project Continues Food Security Mission
Letter of Gratitude from the Minister of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic (Russian and English)