Agriculture is the backbone of the Kyrgyz Republic’s rural economy engaging 40 percent of the labor force and accounting for 20 percent of gross domestic product. Low productivity growth is slowing the reduction of poverty and food insecurity in rural areas. Much of the land used for agriculture has been seriously degraded and the water management capability of farmers presents a limiting factor in production potential. These constraints on agricultural productivity have increased unemployment in rural areas. As a result, migration to Russia and Kazakhstan is commonplace. The World Food Program reports that 16 percent of the poorest quintile of Kyrgyz households have poor food consumption, with some regions exhibiting poor and borderline food consumption as high as 25 percent across all households. Nutrition indicators are likewise a cause for concern. Rates of stunting among children in the south of the country, which is predominately rural, are over 20% with largest urban area, Bishkek, at 18.6%.
To address these issues, USAID aims to improve the foundation and systems for long-term food security and increased farmer income in the Kyrgyz Republic. USAID programs target smallholder farmers in the south of the country by strengthening rural advisory services and developing selected horticulture and livestock value chains which are most revenant to the livelihoods of smallholder farm. USAID programs also work with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to improve the business enabling environment which encourages investment and facilitates access to domestic and export markets for Kyrgyz agricultural products.
USAID Agriculture and Food Security Programs:
- Farmer-to-Farmer (October 2013 - September 2018)
- The Strengthening Partnerships, Results, and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) project (August 2014 – September 2016)
- Agro Horizon Project (October 2014 - September 2018)
- USAID International Food Relief Partnership (IFRP) Program
- Kyrgyz Agro Enterprise Development Program
- Economic Development Fund (EDF) (2011-2014)
Last updated: June 11, 2015