Aid for Trade
Wider Europe: Aid for Trade for Central Asia,South Caucasus and Western CIS
The potato which came down from a Kyrgyz mountain
05-Mar-2012, by Daniele Gelz, UNDP, via web
Potatoe farmer in Batken (Kyrgyzstan) Photo credit: UNDP AfT project
With the kind contribution of Mr Abdilamit Toichiev, head of the AiKOK agricultural cooperative specializing in the production of seed potatoes, as well as other vegetables and fruits.
The Aidarken district (Batken, Kyrgyzstan) is located at 2,000 m above the sea level. At such altitude, potatoes grow very well and the cooperative choose the best German seed potatoes as their capital. The cooperative does not use mineral fertilizer, instead they use organic agents.
AIKOK was used to sell in very small quantities but one day a wholesale buyer wanted to buy 100 tons. It became quickly obvious that their storage room (the school’s boiler room) was not only causing a lot of wastage (due to inappropriate storing), but was also too small. It became clear: there is a need for a large storage facility! The cooperative wrote a business plan, calculated the necessary amounts and went to the UNDP. Everyone pulled their resources and a professional storage house was built.
The storage facility began functioning in the autumn of 2011. For order and record, each sack placed for storage contains a label with details of the farmer/harvest owner, quality and quantity indicators of sack contents.
Taking into account that the AiKOK cooperative, which now has 62 members, receives 1,000 tons of harvest yearly, storage exploitation (with much less wastage and a much better quality due to improved storage) will hopefully significantly improve its financial situation. [don’t worry we will update you]
p.s. Next year, the cooperative management plans to carry out laboratory investigations of the quality of potatoes they produce, to receive a corresponding international certificate, and to start exporting products to Europe. The first customers for Aidarken potatoes have been already found in Germany
Note from the project manager: The data on how well potatoes preserved in the new storehouse is not yet final. Estimates are as follows: under the old storage, wastage would be 5-6% until January and almost 10% by April, with the new storage wastage is 1% in January and expected 2% for April.
Total profits made are expected to be 0.5mln KGS (10 689 US$) for this year.
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This story is also now featured on UNDP's Europe and CIS blog: http://europeandcis.undp.org/blog/2012/02/07/the-man-who-planted-trees-kyrgyz-version/
Daniele Gelz, 2012-02-07 13:01
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