Name of Product: Dried Apricots
Product Type: Fruits
MP Region: Central Asia
Country of origin: Kyrgyz Republic
Name of the Mountain Area: Tien-Shan Mountains
Altitude Range: Class 4: elevation 1 500-2 500 m and slope ≥ 2
Narrative label: These organic sundried apricots are cultivated in orchards by family farmers of the mountainous Batken region, Kyrgyz Republic. Their quality is famous not only among the Kyrgyz but also abroad. Drying these tasty apricots extends their expiration period and provides an important source of energy and income to local people during the harsh winters. Apricot orchards also protect the environment, contributing to soil conservation and preventing natural disasters.

Dried Apricots, or Kuraga in Kyrgyz, have been traditionally grown in Batken since the ancient pre-Islamic times. Today, it is still possible to trace beliefs in animistic features of natural resources to the traditions and culture of Kyrgyz communities. Apricot trees are well respected and sometimes even worshipped. For example, the village of Zardaly has become a sacred place and a popular destination for pilgrimage because of its apricot tree that is believed to be 600 years old.

These hairless apricots are cultivated and processed in the village of Kara-Bak, Batken region at 1 500 metres above sea level. It is commonly known as “the land of apricots” because Central Asia’s native apricots grow here. Its landscape is flat and lacking vegetation and is surrounded by rocky mountains. Arid climate and water scarcity make it a hard place to live. Still, the rocky soil does nourish lush gardens of apricots.

The farmer cooperative Alysh-Dan was established in 2008 and is one of the pioneers of the organic movement among apricot farmers in Central Asia. Through its work, the cooperative contributes to the revival and spread of traditional knowledge about this important crop. It serves domestic and foreign markets and is a member of the national network Federation of organic development ‘BIO-Kg”, which has established ten organic areas (aimaks) in Kyrgyzstan.
Producer: Alysh-Dan Farmer Cooperative
Contact person: Tursunali Tolomushev: [email protected]
Labelled since: 10.04.2017
Label latest verification: 10.04.2017
Type of producer: Independent, Family farmer, Cooperative, Community, Producers organization
Smallholder: yes
Size of company: > 50 people
Distribution channel: Direct sale, Export, Local market
Existing certifications: Organic
At risk of disappearing: Yes, the traditional cultivation and production technique is at risk to be replaced by commercial farming activities.
Traditional product/production: Yes, dried apricots, or Kuraga in Kyrgyz, have been traditionally grown in Batken since the ancient pre-Islamic times.
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