Farmer-to-Farmer

Volunteer expert Ross Penhallegon training local farmers on proper fruit tree pruning, Issyk-Kul oblast, July 2014
Volunteer expert Ross Penhallegon is training Issyk-Kul oblast farmers on proper fruit tree pruning
ACDI-VOCA / USAID

Duration: 2013 - 2018

Implementing Partner: ACDI-VOCA

Activity Locations: Kyrgyz Republic

The project contributes to Kyrgyzstan’s economic growth through short-term technical assistance in the agricultural sector. It also helps to increase links and understanding between the U.S. and the Kyrgyz Republic through the personal, people-to-people exchanges that occur via the project assignments.

MAJOR FOCUS AREAS

The fragmentation of the agricultural production base in Kyrgyzstan continues to prevent the region's farmers and agribusinesses from reaching the scale necessary for efficient production. Small farms yield produce of inconsistent quality and quantities that are too low to meet market demand. The project brings US agricultural specialists to help farmers, agribusinesses, agricultural education and advisory services improve trade, livestock production, food processing and increase productivity that allows profitable access to known domestic and regional markets.

EXPECTED RESULTS AND ACHIEVMENTS

Since the start of the project, USAID brought 79 volunteers on various assignments that focus on developing agricultural enterprises, improving agricultural education and enhancing finances in the agriculture.

In the Rural Enterprises subsector the project volunteers completed 67 different assignments ranging from strengthening agricultural cooperatives and improving cold storage to introducing food safety standards and improving production of rice and onions. As a result, one of the agricultural cooperatives improved their services and optimized its membership through strategic planning, while another local agricultural service provider developed clear guidelines on cold storage for local farmers. The assignment in sheep breeding with a focus on production of the Merino breed helped farmers understand the necessity of feed formulation, disease control, and housing improvement.

A total of 21 Agricultural Education assignments were completed by strengthening the capacity of extension and consultancy services, particularly their strategic and business planning skills, and by review vocational schools’ curriculum with recommendations for improvement through an emphasis on practical and hands‐on training. In addition to this, the program assisted the Kyrgyz Agrarian University in increasing the knowledge of its students on international trade of agricultural products, particularly by conducting a lecture series for bachelor, masters and post-graduate students. The program also worked with the personnel and students of Alai Vocational School No67 to increase their knowledge about the production and processing of agricultural products, best practices in soil analysis and soil fertility, greenhouse management, marketing of products and extension services. F2F Kyrgyzstan also conducted field trainings for agronomists from a local extension service provider and its beneficiaries on agricultural techniques and best practices related to autumn raspberry production.

Six completed assignments including one long‐term assignment in the Rural Financial Services subsector focused on analyzing the technical and training needs of the financial sector at large in Kyrgyzstan. Two assignments were implemented with host Association of Microfinance Institutions (AMFI), and resulted in recommendations primarily based on institutional strengthening including financial literacy campaigns for borrowers, and a client protection movement for the MFI industry. Third volunteer worked with First Micro Credit Company in Osh on preparation to certification in SMART Campaign. The long‐term assignment focused on support of the Kyrgyzstan Agribusiness Investment Fund in launching investment activities in Kyrgyzstan in order to catalyze growth and investment for agri‐SMEs in the Kyrgyz economy over the long term. Another assignment focused on support of the MLC Frontiers in shaping sustainable, responsible and transparent clientele among the Micro Finance Institutions in Kyrgyzstan to ensure their healthy growth over the long term.

F2F Kyrgyzstan also completed five flexible assignments. One assignment on supporting a rural agricultural newspaper (Aiyl Demi) in their strategic planning. This assignment helped the staff to better understand the shift from a donor funded mindset to a more entrepreneurial or proactive approach.  F2F Kyrgyzstan also assisted local beekeepers in assessing and analyzing the current situation of the beekeeping industry in Osh and Issyk-Kul oblasts. These assignments helped the hosts to develop strategies for long‐term sustainability and to adopt modern technologies in beekeeping. Another flexible assignment focused on promotion of agritourism in the south of Kyrgyzstan produced key findings that showed that the host, Visit Alay, has - and should expand upon - existing experiences that allow tourists to experience Kyrgyz agricultural and food culture.

In Kyrgyzstan, program has reached a total of 2957 male and 1363 female beneficiaries, with 85 percent trained. 

The assignments to-date were implemented in Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken, Issyk-Kul, Naryn and Chui oblasts, and in Bishkek.
 

Last updated: July 31, 2018

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