Women in Kyrgyzstan receive dairy cows, agricultural machinery

15 August 2012, Jalal-Abad Oblast, Kyrgyzstan - A farmer woman milking a cow.

@FAO/Sergey Kozmin

Fifty-four dairy cows were handed over to selected rural women in the Issyk-Kul province of Kyrgyzstan last week. Provision of the livestock – together with several units of agricultural machinery – was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of Switzerland. 

The handover event was attended by representatives of the Embassy of Switzerland in Kyrgyzstan, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, provincial and local governments, and FAO. It was a milestone in the Swiss-funded FAO project entitled, “Sustainable Agricultural Development of Issyk-Kul region.” 

Single mothers with at least 2 children under 18 years old participating in rural self-help groups were selected to receive the cows – pregnant “Ala-Tau” heifers. 

Soon, some 400 members of rural self-help groups including 286 women will receive training and technical assistance for cultivating fodder crops. The aim is to increase feed availability and improve dairy farming in the region. Fed with nutrient-rich feed, the milking cows are expected to increase family incomes and contribute to food security, rural development, and sustainable livelihoods in the region. 

“This technical assistance on part of UN FAO is an expression our commitment to serve our three main goals: the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition,” said Dorjee Kinlay, FAO Representative in Kyrgyzstan. “We are proud of our cooperation with the Kyrgyz Government on our joint goal of eliminating poverty and driving economic and social progress for all.”

In addition to the cows, two tractors, two no-till planters and two harvesters were handed over to the self-help groups. The equipment will be used in feed cultivation, to help ensure sustainable results from the assistance.

The Swiss-financed FAO project supports development of agriculture in the Issyk-Kul region, with a focus on rural women. It is scheduled to run through 2018.