The EU and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have provided support green fruit farming in Kyrgyzstan, the Bank said in a story posted on its website.

With support from the EBRD and EU, a consultant provided advice that gave 51-year- old local agribusinesses and farming entrepreneur Kasymbek Kaziev the eco-friendly solution he was looking for, the EBRD story reads.

Kasymbek has a 19-hectare fruit orchard in Sarykamysh, his home village in the Kyrgyz region of Yssyk-Kol. His company Kazy-Bek Agro Farm grows dwarf and semi-dwarf tree varieties of apricots, apples, plums, raspberries and walnuts, and sells to local markets, including local large retail chains.

Early on, Kasymbek decided to grow his fruit in the most natural way possible and until recently he spent $5,000 each year on fertilisers.

Kasymbek started looking into a biogas facility to produce his own organic fertiliser and he found out about dozens of such green technology projects supported by the EBRD’s Advice for Small Businesses programme.

In early May 2020, amid the pandemic and guided by a technical consultant provided with the support of the EU, the farm installed a 25 cubic metre biogas unit, setting up a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy cycle for the two farm operations and Kasymbek’s household. All the organic waste – foodstuff leftovers, manure and discarded orchard material – goes into the unit. The farm can now generate between 9,000 and 14,000 cubic metres of biogas a year, as well as provide 365 cubic meters of high-quality organic fertiliser each year.

“I apply an environmentally friendly fertiliser to grow natural fruits for my customers. The unit makes enough biogas for our family’s heating and cooking needs. We got rid of the bad smell from the waste and improved sanitary conditions at home, at the livestock farm and the orchard,” Kasymbek was quoted as saying in the EBRD article.

Now Kasymbek will save $7,500 per year on fertiliser and gas, while growing anywhere between 20% and 30% more fruit and selling all of the organically grown produce at a premium.

Since 2006, the EBRD and donours, including the European Union and the Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United States) have supported over 40 Kyrgyz small and medium-sized enterprises with business advice in environmental management and energy/resource efficiency.

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