In the remote mountainous areas where the Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, Kyrgyzstan (MSDSP,K) operates, many households are dependent on livestock to support household income. Improving the productivity and profitability of livestock can therefore have an important impact on poverty reduction and economic development.
Since improved animal health is key to making livestock more productive, MSDSP,K focuses on providing training and equipment to 142 private-sector veterinary points and increasing access to breeding services. 60,000 households benefit from these services and 84 percent of supported veterinarians have reported an increase in income over the past 5 years.
MSDSP,K also works to improve crop productivity and marketing through farmer field schools (FFSs). In Osh, MSDSP,K has trained nearly 4,000 farmers in new cultivation techniques and technologies for potatoes, fodder, orchards and new crop varieties such as cabbage.
In Naryn, MSDSP,K has helped farmers diversify their production, particularly in vegetables, with the construction of 10 cold-climate solar greenhouses. These have benefited 350 farmers (67 percent women). MSDSP,K also helps to organise farmers into formal producer groups, cooperatives, and agricultural associations in order to help them negotiate better terms with suppliers and traders. These groups also engage with the First MicroCredit Company (FMCC) and the Kyrgyz Investment and Credit Bank (KICB), owned in part by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), to obtain financing support for income-generating activities in programme areas.