The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) extended the Kyrgyz Agro-Input Enterprise Development (KAED) project for an additional two years, effective September 1, 2008, and ending August 31, 2010. The original project (2001-2008) began in the Ferghana Valley, southern Kyrgyzstan, and was also implemented in northern Kyrgyzstan.
KAED II activities were built on the platform of past achievements, lessons and relationships developed under the original project, which encouraged Kyrgyz farmers to adopt practices that would increase food production and improve animal health and rural incomes.
KAED II sought sustainability at all levels, particularly utilizing agribusiness and agriculture value chain members and associations. The project emphasized broad-based stakeholder participation, and this presented opportunities to leverage the USAID resources available.
Emergency Agro-Input Program, 2010
In April 2010, regime change in Kyrgyzstan threatened farmer access to agro-inputs due to the potential disruption or slowing of the agricultural supply system. Through additional USAID project funding, IFDC provided seeds and fertilizers worth $150,000 to address the immediate agro-inputs needs of Kyrgyz farmers in their upcoming cropping season. The assistance consisted of 100 metric tons (mt) of spring wheat elite seed, 100 mt of spring barley elite seed, 40 mt of corn seed and 100 mt of compound fertilizers. The seed and fertilizers were delivered to areas of Kyrgyzstan with the most immediate needs, such as farmers in the nation’s mountainous regions, and were distributed free of charge.
Primary Activities in 2010
Established the Global Development Alliance (GDA) with Eurasia Group to foster public-private partnership. Through the GDA, KAED II increased domestic production of corn (as the main component of livestock feed) and edible oil through higher yields and productivity of maize and sunflower farmers. It is estimated that by the end of 2010, an additional 8,000 mt of corn for livestock fodder and 480 mt of processed, edible sunflower oil will be added to Kyrgyzstan’s food balance at a reduced cost to the consumer. This should narrow the supply gap for both commodities.
Utilized the media, technical brochures, private sector (dealer) extension services, local service providers and an aggressive public outreach program to transfer knowledge to farmers about advanced wheat-growing practices. These practices included new varieties, seeding rates, fertilizer application rates and methods, pesticide use, irrigation techniques and harvesting technology. Plans were to reach 100,000 farmers who have the highest potential to double wheat yields (e.g, from 2.0 mt/hectare [ha] to 4.0 mt/ha). A similar public outreach campaign was conducted to support the GDA Program with Eurasia Group on maize and sunflower production.
Past Successes from KAED I and II
The project coordinated with ICARDA, the private sector and the Kyrgyz government to distribute 275 mt of winter wheat seed (worth US $300,000) in 2008. KAED II was able to distribute the USAID-donated seed via private sector network in only 10 days at a minimal cost ($14,000).
New winter wheat varieties (Starshina and Krasnodar 99) were planted on 1,000 ha. The average yield from these imported varieties was 3.93 mt/ha compared with 2.0 mt/ha from traditional varieties. Farmers appreciated not only the high-yielding capacity of new varieties introduced through USAID’s Seed Assistance Program but also the high quality of the grain, which is critical for the flour and bakery industries. Overall, 4,000 mt of winter wheat was produced as a direct result of USAID’s intervention.
KAED II distributed 1,200 kg of livestock feed through private sector markets to ensure that livestock would survive the harsh winter months of 2008/09. The program targeted 70,000 dairy cows or 14 percent of the total number of dairy cattle in Kyrgyzstan. The efforts of the project and the private sector paid off. The intervention saved the lives of 22,000 cows and helped an additional 48,000 cows to maintain their body weight and improve milk production even during the winter months. The mortality rate among animals assisted by the program was only 3.6 percent versus 13.5 percent among non-assisted animals. In addition, the average milk yield of assisted farms was 8.3 liters per day, almost 26 percent higher than the yield during the winter/spring of the previous year.
The 2008/09 growing season was very favorable for winter cereals in Kyrgyzstan. As a result of the work of KAED II and favorable weather conditions countrywide, the wheat yield in 2009 averaged 2.9 mt/ha compared with 1.7 mt/ha in 2008. The efforts of the project in promoting advanced technology to 100,000 farmers resulted in a bumper crop for the 2009 harvesting season. Thus, a significant number of farmers have doubled (in some cases tripled) their yields. Some farmers in the program have harvested record yields of 8.0-9.0 mt/ha. It was estimated that Kyrgyzstan produced about 1.2 million mt of bread wheat, or 400,000 mt more than the previous year. This was the highest production level reached in the last 15 years in Kyrgyzstan.
This significantly higher wheat production, better yields for potato (the main staple food crop), better yields of livestock feed crops (corn, alfalfa, fodder beet) and an increased production of grasses in the pastures (critical to livestock management) eliminated immediate food crisis concerns in Kyrgyzstan.
KAED II, in cooperation with other USAID projects (Land Reform, Water Users Association and Central Asia Microfinance Alliance), conducted rehabilitation activities on 35 ha of stony land in rural Markaz in Batken oblast, southern Kyrgyzstan. The project allocated $20,000 for restoration of soil fertility, planting seeds and growing barley and alfalfa on 34 ha of land. A demonstration field of fodder crops was also established on 1.0 ha. KAED II agricultural specialists used an integrated approach demonstrating the possibility of achieving high yields on abandoned lands through advanced growing techniques, new seed varieties and timely application of insecticides, fertilizers and irrigation.
In 2008 fertilizer imports totaled 107,000 mt (20,000 mt more than in 2007) despite record high world market prices. The two major crop protection product companies in the country increased sales by 65 percent in 2008 compared with 2007, and certified seed sales grew by 25 percent in 2008.
KAED II Information
KAED II Articles
Advanced Technologies Improved Farmers' Livelihoods (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 37, No.1)
2011 Marks 10th Anniversary of IFDC in Kyrgyzstan
IFDC/USAID Project Helped Increase Sunflower Yields and Edible Oil Production in Kyrgystan(Taken from IFDC Report Volume 36, No.1)
IFDC/USAID Success Story: New Technologies Increase Profits (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No.4)
KAED II Project Hosts Agricultural Machinery Field Days (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No.3)
USAID Mission Director Pleased with Pilot Project Results in Southern Kyrgyzstan (Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No.2 in English and French)
US Government Supports Field Day of Agricultural Machinery
KAED II to Implement Global Development Alliance Launched by USAID and Eurasia Group
USAID Provides Urgent Agricultural Assistance to Kyrgyz Republic(Taken from IFDC Report Volume 35, No.2 in English and French)
Kyrgyz Agro-Input Enterprise Development Project II
Markaz Joint Agro Initiative Project
KAED II Project Area III