© Helvetas
Kyrgyzstan

Creating Jobs to Escape Poverty

© Helvetas

Helvetas is committed to reducing poverty in Alai and Chon Alai areas with an estimated population of 100,000 through increased income and employment - in particular for women and youth - and thereby facilitating the rise of local and regional markets, leading to reduced inequalities and improved perception of life perspectives.

  • Project Name
    BaiAlai: Small Business and Income Creation Program
  • Project Phase
    2014 to 2018
  • Funding
    This project is an SDC mandate.
  • Thematic focus
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Approach

The underlying approach of the Project is the MSD (Market Systems Development) approach, which provides the basis for achieving sustainable and widespread impact by promoting systemic changes implemented by market participants. Through capacity building of market participants and the establishment of incentives, the project will support market participants in developing sustainable solutions aimed at removing key constraints in each of the selected subsectors.

Project strategy for achieving its outcomes is to:

  • Support development of such sectors as cattle, apiculture, handicraft and tourism with the aim of systematically improving these sectors and increasing incomes and earnings for the poor;
  • Facilitate development of business advisory services and improve access to financial services for emerging farm and non-farm small and micro enterprises, including new businesses headed by youth and women;
  • Strengthening the capacities of market actors in promoting improvement of the regulatory frameworks.
© Helvetas
© Helvetas

Cattle

Livestock is one of the main and most important branches of agriculture, especially in Alay and Chon-Alay districts, where about 80% of households keep livestock, and income from livestock sales accounts for almost 60% of household income in the project area. Basically, in both regions, the livestock sector consists of small farms, and feeding methods remain traditional. This is primarily due to the presence of pastures, which guarantees animals access to organic fodder in the summer and the traditional method of feeding livestock with natural fodder in winter, which, in turn, ensures an organic product.

About 80% of households in Alay and Chon-Alay keep livestock | © Helvetas
The project in its second phase will focus on breeding Aberdeen Angus breed © Helvetas

Apiculture

In recent years, the beekeeping sector has been actively developing in Alay and Chon-Alay districts. Today, beekeepers from the region are negotiating cooperation with domestic and foreign buyers. At the same time, experts note the high quality of Alay and Chon-Alay honey and express their interest in supporting its development. It’s worth noting that the results of laboratory analysis of honey from Alay and Chon-Alay confirmed that their content meets the standards for maximum permissible concentration (MPC)

Beekeeping sector has been actively developing in Alay and Chon-Alay  | © Helvetas
Beekeeping in Alai and Chon-Alai regions is actively developing and becoming popular among the local population. © Helvetas

Tourism

Kyrgyzstan is a country of high mountains, with a unique untouched nature, rich history and hospitable culture of nomads. That is why Kyrgyzstan attracts a large number of tourists from around the world. Traditionally, the main destination for tourists in Kyrgyzstan is Lake Issyk-Kul, but there are many other places in the country that are interesting and potentially interesting for guests of the republic. One of such destinations are Alay and Chon-Alay districts.

Alay Valley, located in southern Kyrgyzstan at altitudes of 2240 -. 3536 m mostly attracts mountain hikers and climbers heading to the area of Lenin Peak (7134 m.). However, this is not the only attraction of the region, recently a part of the Great Silk Road passed through the valley, and at present time the Pamir High-Altitude Path passes through it. The rich history, coupled with the beautiful landscapes and hospitality of the locals make this region very promising for the development of tourism in it.

Tourists in Alai | © Helvetas
Tourists from all over the world come to the region © Helvetas

Handicraft

With the beginning of the new phase the Bai Alai programme has started its activities on supporting women artisans from Alay and Chon-Alay districts to increase the additional income of households, including youth. The goal of the program is to create a source of income for 150 artisans in two districts during 2018-2022. In order to achieve this goal, the programme will make a number of activities in improving the capacity of artisans on technical skills, marketing, and business planning. In addition, the project will support the establishment of linkages between local and foreign customers through cooperation with leading firms in handicraft.

Women artisans in Alay and Chon-Alay | © Helvetas
Alai artisans prepare dowry for a granddaughter © Helvetas
© Helvetas
Products of Alai and Chon-Alai artisans are a great gift for every family member. © Helvetas
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© Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
Tourism in Alai and Chon Alai © Helvetas / Simon B. Opladen
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© Erkin Abakirov
Horse games festival in Alay © Erkin Abakirov
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© Helvetas
The beauty of the region attracts tourists from all over the world. © Helvetas
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© Helvetas
Honey from Alai and Chon-Alai is good for a health of the whole family. © Helvetas
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Sustainable and Inclusive Economies

Economic growth does not always benefit the poor and poverty is bad for growth. We need to make a proactive effort to break this vicious cycle.

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