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FAO promotes horticulture in Kyrgyzstan for increased farm productivity

Kyrgyzstan has all the ingredients needed to be a leader in the production of high quality fruit and vegetables – its unique soil and climate create a perfect environment for horticulture.

That’s why the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Industry and Melioration of the Kyrgyz Republic, with the technical and consultative support of FAO, held a training workshop in Balykchy, in the Issyk-Kul region, in early April, working with farmers to improve and modernize their farms to increase productivity.

More than 150 participants from all over Kyrgyzstan took part in the event, which was followed by a field visit to "Narsuu," an agricultural cooperative in the Ak-Olon Ayilny district, where modern horticultural methods are already being used, with great results.

The development of horticulture and vegetable farming is a priority in the development of the agro-industrial sector of the Kyrgyz Republic. More than 65 percent of the population live in rural areas, and 34 percent of those people work in agriculture.

Dorjee Kinlay, the FAO Representative in Kyrgyzstan, said that agriculture is important to the people of Kyrgyzstan not only economically, but also socially and politically, and there is huge potential for the agriculture sector to grow.

"FAO is active in promoting advanced technologies in Kyrgyzstan,” he said. “These new methods include integrated plant protection, conservation agriculture and water-saving technologies such as drip irrigation.”

He said that there is high demand for fruit and berries in the region as well as around the world.

Fire blight, a dangerous disease affecting fruit trees, has been spreading widely in Kyrgyzstan in recent years, causing severe damage especially to pear and apple trees. The disease is difficult to control with preventive measures and chemicals, and therefore farmers are cutting down and burning down their pear trees. Information on the symptoms of the disease and control measures was presented in the training. It was also suggested that farmers establish new orchards and stop growing pear trees.

Hafiz Muminjanov, an agricultural expert at FAO, mentioned that the horticulture sector has suffered a decline in productivity over the past few decades, but that by building knowledge and expertise amongst farmers, the industry will grow again.

"The development of horticulture is one of the most promising areas of agriculture in Kyrgyzstan,” he said. “However, the lack of knowledge and financial resources hinders the development of this sector. That’s why it’s so important to conduct such training activities and pay attention to the development of farming in the country.”

FAO intends to continue active work on increasing farmers’ knowledge and strengthening the capacity of specialists who promote advanced agricultural production technologies in Kyrgyzstan.

18 April 2018, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

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