Solution: Organic aimak is an integrated model of sustainable development of rural and mountainous communities, based on a synthesis of traditional culture and modern organic technologies.
Goals and objectives: This model has been developing since 2012 under the common agreement that farmers work together using traditional technologies and waiving chemicals for production of agricultural goods, such as potatoes, beans, nuts, apricots, berries, honey etc., that are in high demand in the market and profitable. An important feature is preservation of fragile mountain ecotypes and bio-cultural diversity.
Implementation: The solution is based on consolidation of efforts of local farmers for sustainable development of agricultural production. In Kopuro Bazar village, Talass region, 20 farmers pooled their land and allocated some of it for public use.
This uses social resources based on the traditional mentality of indigenous inhabitants, as well as traditional instruments of social control and motivation:
- “Ashar,” a traditional method of community construction of large facilities for general or for family use. For example, in one of the aimaks, people improved the main street of the village - the main thoroughfares – in three days by using "ashar" method.
- "Yntymak kurzhunu" (literally, "Treasury of agreed cooperation," "treasury agreement") is a local microcredit fund, organized by farmers. Each family contributes small amounts of money to the fund to be able to borrow relatively large amounts of money from the fund in turn. This approach allows farmers to have access to autonomous (albeit modest) funding, and so they do not depend on grants and external loans. In addition, this form of credit breeds mutual trust.
- Small local festivals, festivals of koumiss (popular traditional drinking of sour horse milk), garlic, apricot, berries or birds of prey that contribute to the promotion and distribution of organic aimak model in remote mountainous communities.
Achievements: This model brought changes to depressed villages where farmers used to not receive money for their products and lived a natural exchange life for many years by earning relatively large, by local standards, amount of cash. At the Organic Products Fair in 2014, only one village - Kopuro Bazar - sold agricultural products at 30,000 Kyrgyz Soms (about $5,000) in two days.
As products labeled organic must be certified, the federation “Bio-KG” has now been introducing private organic standards and the Ministry of Agricultures presented the National Plan on Organic Agriculture Development for the Government’s endorsement.
Replication: The solution can be replicated in countries where there are many small-scale farms with "patchwork" landholdings, especially in depressed areas and in fragile or degraded ecosystems like mountains, deserts, tundra zones. Sustainable profitable farming with minimal cost can be reproduced in poor countries through community mobilization and application of traditional techniques for financial and material support.
Budget: The first year of the program implementation international organizations (such as ICCO, The Christensen Fund, and others) allocated $60,000 for 4 aymaks, composed of 9 villages.
Partners: Local farmers of 23 villages – implementation of organic farming technologies; Ministry of Agriculture of Kyrgyz Republic – rules and regulations development; National Agricultural University – knowledge sharing; international organizations, such as ICCO, The Christensen Fund, Helvetas, and GIZ – technical and financial support.
Federation of Organic Development “Bio-KG» (FOD «Bio-KG»)
Director Mr. Aidaraliev Iskenderbek
Phone number; +996 553 332167