Farmers in the Kyrgyz Republic are learning just how much more income they can earn by extending the shelf life and maintaining the quality of their fruits and vegetables. At the request of more than 40 farmers and agro-service providers from the Batken, Osh, and Jalal-Abad oblasts, in January 2022, the USAID Kyrgyz Republic Agro Trade Activity hosted a two-day training session covering post-harvest handling and cold storage management. ACDI/VOCA has partnered with Chemonics to implement the five-year activity, aiming to increase agricultural productivity, help entrepreneurs develop stronger business skills, and facilitate regional business opportunities.

Consultants John Buckley and Patrick Hughes conducted the training, introducing the three main objectives of using post-harvest technology to store fruits and vegetables: (1) maintaining quality (appearance, texture, flavor, and nutritive value), (2) protecting food safety, and (3) reducing losses incurred between harvest and consumption.

In June 2022, Buckley followed up this training with visits to the Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Batken oblasts. During the site visits, he witnessed how the training resulted in the successful application of learnings and the construction of new storage centers.  One participant, Zakirjon Khamrabaev, is building a three-story logistics center (pictured above) in the Uch-Korgon District of Batken. He was a business intermediary for 15 years without his own logistics center. Thanks to the training, he plans to open a center with a 200-metric ton cold storage facility for storing apples on the first floor, a fruit processing and drying shop on the second floor, and a packing shop on the third floor.

“Losses of horticultural produce are a major problem in the post-harvest supply chain. Improved cold chain management can improve product quality and increase profits.”

— Zakirjon Khamrabaev, an entrepreneur from Batken supported by the USAID Kyrgyz Republic Agro Trade Activity

Almaz Syranov, another participant from the Nookat District of Osh, has built a 400-metric ton capacity cold storage unit for the storage of fruits and vegetables.

“During the training, I learned a lot about harvesting techniques, crop storage, and garden fertilization. Turns out, I made a lot of blunders. This was the impetus for the creation of a new line, which also prompted me to introduce a more sustainable horticultural activity.”

— Almaz Syranov, an entrepreneur from Osh supported by the USAID Kyrgyz Republic Agro Trade Activity

According to Syranov, local farmers will be able to rent space in his cold storage unit and sell their stored product in early spring 2023, possibly earning twice as much due to less product on the market. These new centers open a door of possibilities for local Kyrgyz entrepreneurs to earn more income and grow their businesses with the support of USAID.

Photo by Raziia Ormonova

Learn more about the USAID Kyrgyz Republic Agro Trade Activity.

Learn more about our work in the Kyrgyz Republic.