Opportunities for Kyrgyz’ Apricots
About 20% of apricot in Kyrgyzstan is consumed fresh and about 55% is dried. Less than 1% of the total crop is processed and all the rest is exported or simply goes to waste. All these apricots could be processed into juices and jams and in that way bring profit to Kyrgyzstan.
Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous agrarian country in Central Asia. Agriculture in Kyrgyzstan is one of the leading sectors of the economy. In the total volume of the country’s gross domestic product, the share of agriculture is a significant part – about 24.0%. In addition, about 65.0% of the country’s population lives in rural areas, out of the total number of all employed 34.0% is engaged in agriculture. The biggest part of agriculture is crop production (50%), next to livestock production (48%) and share of services, forestry and fisheries (2%). Among the cultivated crops, wheat, potatoes, fruits are predominant.
Opportunities for apricots
About 20% of apricot in the Kyrgyz Republic is consumed fresh and about 55% is dried. Less than 1% of the total crop is processed. This is despite the fact that there are about 15 factories in the republic capable of processing apricot in juices, compotes and jams. Only 9 of them process apricot, using less than 10% of capacity. Note that 25% of the total production, which is 17.5 thousand tons, simply goes to waste. All this crop of apricot could be processed and bring profit to the producers.
Kyrgyzstan exports 90% of the total export of fresh apricot to Tajikistan. And the Tajiks, in turn, process it and send it to the Russia. Today Tajikistan is one of the largest suppliers of apricot products to Russia and other countries. Roughly similar statistics apply to apples and berries. It’s time for Kyrgyzstan to turn its attention back to agriculture and give it a new round of development, by for example processing fruit to make products out of it which can be sold.
Improving the agricultural sector
Improving the management system of the agricultural sector and introducing innovative methods in agricultural production will allow integration of economic entities in the agricultural sector through the organization of effective agricultural cooperatives. Furthermore, in order for Kyrgyzstan to expand its sales markets, it is necessary to solve problems with small-scale production, as large quantities are needed for export. Also, regular contacts should be established to ensure that deliveries are not made on a case-by-case basis, but on an ongoing basis. An important role is played by marketing support. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the country’s general requirements for products, including quality standards and certification.
‘Oruk Fest’ – an event to promote fruit
In this context, ICCO is co-organizing “Oruk Fest” with it’s strategic partner Fair and Sustainable Development Solutions this year, which is one of the most important events to promote fruit for the Issyk-Kul region in Kyrgyzstan. It gathers a large number of agricultural producers and buyers both from local and foreign markets. The festival helps to establish contacts between farmers, buyers and processors. Guests of the festival will be presented with a variety of dishes and drinks, cooked on the basis of apricot. Within the framework of the festival, participants will be provided with master classes and leading experts will share information about drying and processing technologies. Requirements for the export of juices, jams and dried fruits abroad will be discussed, which will will help farmers achieve the best results in their work.
The data in this article is taken from National Statistical Committee of Kyrgyzstan and Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.