Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) a third phase of its Economic Development Fund (EDF) activities in Kyrgyzstan in late September. With an overall goal of improving food security and poverty alleviation, the EDF is a special program that invests in critical agricultural sub-sectors, and is implemented in close cooperation with the Kyrgyz Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). The purpose of the third phase is to demonstrate how to increase the productivity and profitability of livestock farming by improving feed production and rations, animal care and health and breed quality. The targeted farms will serve as model livestock operations, yielding immediate results and serving as a foundation for the transformation of the livestock sector.
The award provides additional funds, most of which will be allocated for upgrading production systems, including equipment, herd genetics and management (e.g., livestock health) systems for 10-15 private, commercially viable livestock farms selected by the MoA. The USAID KAED Follow-on project, which is implemented by IFDC, will provide technical and business advice and training as well as manage the procurement of goods in coordination with the MoA and selected farms.
This is the final component of a grant under the EDF to support the Kyrgyz government’s efforts to boost agricultural productivity. In spring 2011, USAID awarded IFDC the first phase of the EDF, a program to procure and distribute quality seed to 34,000 farmers. The project succeeded in arranging a voucher system and working through private suppliers to deliver the seed in time for spring planting. The seed helped farmers produce additional crops valued at $12 million and contribute to the country’s food security.
The ongoing Agriculture Seed Investment Support component (EDF Phase II), launched a year ago, is providing modern equipment, seed and technical assistance to 14 commercially viable seed farms. The objective is to upgrade their farming and business operations as models for other seed farms and the industry. The improved technologies, capacity building and seed production system upgrades will contribute to the development of a vibrant domestic seed supply system that will afford farmers access to high-quality seed needed to support sustainable yield increases.
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