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Bishkek (AKIpress) - The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on July 15 approved US$15 million equivalent in financing for the Pasture and Livestock Management Improvement Project in the Kyrgyz Republic. US$8.25 million of this financing is a concessional credit, while US$6.75 million is a grant.
The project aims to improve community-based pasture and livestock management in the Kyrgyz Republic, and will have two key components: 1) community-based pasture management, and 2) community-based animal health and husbandry services.
The first component will support building public awareness of pasture-related legislation; demarcating internal pasture boundaries, resulting in more accurate land tax charges and resolution of land-use disputes; building more inclusive pasture users union governance and increasing women’s participation in decision-making; funding community-based investments in pasture, feeding, and livestock improvement; and introducing community-based pasture management into forestry enterprise pastures.
The second component will focus on building the capacity of animal health and husbandry groups created under pasture users unions; equipping and training private vets, and facilitating contracts between vets and pasture users unions; building awareness of pasture users of the benefits of veterinary services and improved animal health; development of training materials for vets in cooperation with the Veterinary Chamber and Kyrgyz National Agrarian University; and building the capacity of the Veterinary Chamber to support the assessment and professional development of private vets, resulting in higher private veterinary standards.
“At the community level, the project will support 140 pasture users unions and 420 private veterinarians in the Chui and Talas regions in the North of the Kyrgyz Republic. The project will also pilot community-based pasture management in five forestry enterprises in the Chui and Talas oblasts as a basis for a future program nationally,” said Peter Goodman, Senior Agricultural Specialist at the World Bank and Task Team Leader for the project. “At the national level, the project will strengthen the capacity of the Pasture Department, the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry, and the Veterinary Chamber.”
Overall, it is expected that about 190,000 rural households in the Chui and Talas regions will benefit from improved pasture users unions and private vet services. 140 pasture users unions (out of 454 nationally), currently responsible for community-based management of about 1.2 million hectares of pastures and 2,100 pasture committee members, as well as 420 private vets, will benefit from capacity-building under the project. In addition, about 48 veterinary higher education graduates will receive equipment and training.
“In the Kyrgyz Republic, livestock production, which makes up around half of agricultural GDP, provides stable income for rural households and acts as a social safety net that can be sold in times of economic hardships. The Pasture and Livestock Management Improvement Project will improve access to pastures and animal health services for the poorest livestock holders, and thereby help to increase their incomes,” said Dinara Djoldosheva, acting World Bank Country Manager in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The project will be implemented in 2015-2019 by the Ministry of Agriculture and Melioration through its Agricultural Projects Implementation Unit and through the Community Development and Investment Agency (ARIS).
The World Bank’s overall mission in the Kyrgyz Republic is to reduce poverty and promote economic growth and shared prosperity. 45 percent of the World Bank’s assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic is in the form of grants. The other 55 percent is in highly concessional credits with no interest, and only a 0.75 percent service charge. Credits are repayable in 38 years, including a 6-year grace period, while grants require no repayment. The Bank’s financial assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic since 1992 amounts to over US$1 billion, in the form of grants and highly concessional credits.