Economic Development Fund (EDF): Kyrgyz Republic

Speeches Shim

The Economic Development Fund (EDF) provided investment in critical agricultural subsectors to improve food security and poverty alleviation in the Kyrgyz Republic. The program was implemented by the USAID Kyrgyz Agro-Input Enterprise Development (KAED) project in close cooperation with the Kyrgyz Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. The U.S. government provided a $20 million grant under the EDF in three phases to support the Kyrgyz government’s efforts to boost agricultural productivity.

The project, in coordination with the Ministry, procured 3,600 metric tons (mt) of good quality seeds and distributed them to 34,000 farmers and cooperatives in 2011 under EDF Phase I. The EDF I program generated an estimated incremental benefit to national farm income of $12.2 million, which was three times the USAID investment. In addition to the short-term benefits, farmers were able to plant their saved, better quality seeds in subsequent years and became more aware of the advantages of buying higher-yielding seeds. These achievements led to an overall increase in food security.

In order to further develop a vibrant, domestic seed supply system, EDF Phase II transformed selected seed farms in each oblast into commercially viable seed companies. The KAED project provided 94 pieces of agricultural equipment and additional elite seed to the farms and provided technical support, including field demonstrations on new varieties. The project visited the farms to monitor progress, ensure environmental compliance and conduct surveys. The modern equipment arrived in time for spring 2013 planting, and the farms rated the equipment satisfactory (8 on a scale of 10).The machinery investment program will have a positive impact on the overall profitability of the seed farms and provide the liquidity to repay loans. These farms are now serving as models for other seed farms in the region and becoming competitive seed exporters. This will contribute to improved seed quality and affordability for farmers and stimulate greater national production.

The $8.5 million EDF III program increased the productivity and profitability of the livestock sector through upgrading production systems for nine commercially viable livestock farms selected by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation. A total of 400 pieces of agricultural equipment, including tractors, combines, irrigation and milking equipment, were delivered to beneficiary farms. Farms also received pedigree animals: 235 head of pedigree Black Angus cattle were imported from Montana, USA. Black Angus breeds are prized for their high-quality meat and valued for their easy acclimation to the climatic conditions of the country. Well-attended Black Angus cattle will reach 500 kilograms (kg) in 15 months.

The farms receiving equipment, feed and cattle increased fodder production this year by an estimated 15-20% and harvested better quality alfalfa. The modern machinery enabled them to plant more land for themselves and for others on a contract basis, thus generating more revenue and capacity to repay the equipment loans.

Under the EDF III program, the first Animal Reproduction Biotechnology Center was launched in the Kyrgyz Republic in October 2013. The center is run by the Livestock Breeding Association of the Kyrgyz Republic. USAID provided a package of semen production and insemination equipment. The Center introduces modern reproduction technology and produces improved genetic material for artificial insemination throughout the country. During the first three months of 2014, the Center distributed 2,000 doses of semen to their clients free of charge and 7,000 doses priced under cost at $2 each.

In the long term, this intervention will contribute to the modernization and productivity of the livestock sector and help position Kyrgyzstan once again as an attractive source of livestock products for the region.