Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

According to the Ministry of Labor, Social Welfare and Migration in the Kyrgyz Republic about 900, 000 Kyrgyz citizens are working abroad and most of them send remittances back to the country, which is accounted for 30 % of the country’s GDP. The biggest portion of the remittances is channeled from the Russian Federation. Unfortunately, due to the recent Russia-Ukraine conflict, there will definitely affect the national economy of the country. It is also estimated, that sanctions against Russia provoke the return of some of the migrants due to loss of jobs or decreased salaries in the country of destination. According to the World Bank’s projection, due to the implications of conflict and sanctions, remittances to Kyrgyzstan are estimated to decline by 25 %.

Therefore, I would like to highlight that the returning migrants should be considered not from the perspective of creating challenge or burden for the public social protection system, but also as an additional asset: it is an opportunity to use them for social-economic reintegration that can bring their investments and new quality of social capital (knowledge, experience, networking contact). It is important also to create trust amongst returning migrants, who may have felt disillusioned with and alienated from their communities and local authorities. Teaching and applying new approaches and modern technology to agriculture by applying matching grants scheme to leverage remittances of returning migrants is one of the options to consider. This approach helps to increase agricultural investments in rural areas and to support the promotion of sustainable agriculture, food production, and improving access to better nutrition.

Lastly, the engagement of returning migrants in agriculture-related business initiatives through the application of climate-smart agriculture, resource-saving technologies, and practices will provide a positive economic and social impact on local food security, improve nutrition, prevention of migration, promotion in generating income, and build a new level of partnership between local authorities and returning migrants.