Farmer-to-Farmer

Volunteer expert Ross Penhallegon training local farmers on proper fruit tree pruning, Issyk-Kul oblast, July 2014
Volunteer expert Ross Penhallegon is training Issyk-Kul oblast farmers on proper fruit tree pruning
ACDI-VOCA / USAID

Duration:
October 2013 - September 2018

Implementing Partner:
ACDI-VOCA

Activity Locations:
Kyrgyz Republic

Goal

The primary goal of F2F in Kyrgyzstan is to generate rapid, sustained and broad­ based economic growth through short-term technical assistance in the agricultural sector. A second key program goal is to increase the U.S. public's understanding of international development assistance as well as international hosts' and program participants' understanding of U.S. foreign assistance and the American people through the personal, people-to-people exchanges that occur via the assignments.

Major Focus Areas

The fragmentation of the agricultural production base in Kyrgyzstan continues to prevent the region's farmers and agribusinesses from reaching the scale necessary for efficient production. Most production comes from small farms, which yield produce of inconsistent quality and quantities that are too low to meet market demand. F2F will contribute to capacity building of farmers, agribusinesses, women entrepreneurs and agricultural education and advisory services to advance economic growth by bringing technology transfer innovations through US agricultural specialists.

F2F will field at least 118 expert assignments to support the technology transfer amongst and organizational development of value chain actors in Kyrgyzstan, improving trade of fruits and vegetables; improving livestock production, encouraging import substitution with food processors, and enhancing input supply channels to increase productivity that allows profitable access to known domestic and regional markets.

Expected Impact

Rural Enterprises - F2F will improve the capacity of producers in production horticulture, orchards, homestead livestock value chains as well as non-agriculture activities to target women entrepreneurs to explore domestic and regional market opportunities. F2F will work with agribusinesses to improve financial management and accounting systems, strategic planning, business plan development and product development.

Agricultural Education - F2F will support public and private agricultural extension and advisory service providers to improve their capacity to transfer relevant technologies to serve agricultural development needs.

Rural Financial Services - F2F will implement a limited number of rural financial services assignments to support the non-bank financial institutions in developing their agricultural loan portfolio through risk mitigation strategies.

Accomplishments to date

As of June 2015, the F2F Kyrgyzstan team hosted 22 volunteers. The volunteer assignments ranged from conducting financial sector needs assessment to strengthening cold storage management and cooperatives and introduction of food safety standards to small enterprises and dairy processing.

Rural Enterprises: eleven completed assignments focused on strengthening organizational and management capacities of agricultural cooperatives, improving cold storage and fruit orchard management practices and introducing food safety standards to small enterprises and dairy processing. The cold storage assignment included developing guidelines in collaboration with the local service provider TES Center, who will provide the follow-up to each of the four hosts.

Agricultural Education: Eight assignments focused on strengthening of extension and consultancy services, strategic and business planning skills in particular. In addition to this, the program organized lectures for the Kyrgyz Agrarian University students on international trade of agricultural products.

Rural Financial Services: Two completed assignments focused on analyzing technical and training needs of Kyrgyzstan’s financial sector at large. The assignments were implemented with the Association of Microfinance Institutions (AMFI), and resulted in recommendations primarily based on institutional strengthening including financial literacy campaigns for borrowers, and a client protection movement for the MFI industry. The volunteer worked with AMFI and other MFIs on a strategic planning exercise and also provided training on risk management methodology.

F2F Kyrgyzstan also supported a rural agricultural newspaper (Aiyl Demi) in their strategic planning. This assignment helped the staff to better understand the shift from a donor funded mindset to a more entrepreneurial or proactive approach. 

In Kyrgyzstan, program has reached a total of 497 male and 281 female beneficiaries, with 70 percent trained.

The assignments to-date were implemented in Osh, Batken, Issyk-Kul and Chui oblasts, and in Bishkek.

Last updated: December 29, 2015

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