BISHKEK – The United Nations World Food Programe (WFP) - with funding from the Government of Japan - successfully established a mini-processing workshop to produce high-value essential oils and dried herbs in At-Bashy district in Naryn province.
The medicinal herb-processing workshop will benefit around 1,000 smallholder farmers and will boost the cultivation of a large variety of herbs that will be used to produce high-end wellness products including cosmetics, food, medicine and pharmaceutics.
“It is difficult to objectively evaluate ourselves and our surroundings. Sometimes there is value in what we are not aware of and what we take for granted. This is exactly what this workshop is about - the nature in this area has value, and by commercializing the gifts of nature, we can generate income and provide employment opportunities for people in this region”, said Shigeki Maeda, Ambassador of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic.
The workshop can process up to 3,000 kg of herbs per day and will benefit around 1,000 smallholder farmers. The farmers in At-Bashy will receive training on agro-technologies, herb production, and marketing which will help increase their production and boost their income.
“We thank Japan for their continuous support to smallholder farmers from At-Bashy. This funding is crucial as it comes at a time when vulnerable people are struggling to buy nutritious food, mainly because of spiraling food prices linked to the global food crisis and COVID-19,” said Kojiro Nakai, WFP Country Director and Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic.
With the support from the Government of Japan, WFP has supported the establishment of twenty local mini agricultural processing workshops across the country with the provision of modern equipment and technological advancements. In addition, WFP has helped set up small-scale businesses that produce essential oils, dry fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and wool yarns. These have helped revitalise local markets and create economic opportunities in rural Kyrgyzstan.
“Through this public-private partnership initiative, we’ve been able to strengthen ties between the government, businesses and farmers to create sustainable businesses and employment opportunities for people living in some of the most rural parts of the country. With the income they earn, families who were struggling to purchase nutritious food will have the means to do so at time when food prices are skyrocketing globally,” Nakai concluded.
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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