EBRD finances upgrade to irrigation system in Kyrgyz Republic

By Anton Usov

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  • €17.8 million investment to upgrade irrigation system in the Osh region
  • Support for climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture
  • New employment opportunities and economic inclusion

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the Kyrgyz Republic’s efforts to upgrade the irrigation system in the Fergana Valley – the country’s main agricultural area – and make it more climate resilient.

A €17.8 million investment will finance construction work and upgrades to the system used to transport water to irrigated fields in the Osh region of the Kyrgyz Republic. The funds will facilitate essential upgrades to water intakes, main canals and the distribution network. They will also help reduce water losses, electricity consumption and CO2 emissions.

The improved irrigation system will promote sustainable and climate-resilient crop farming and facilitate the creation of jobs in the southern part of the country, where most of the mainly rural population is employed in agriculture.

The project is part of the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach, under which the Bank plans to scale up its climate and environmental finance to more than 50 per cent of EBRD annual investment by 2025. The GET approach is important in the Kyrgyz Republic, one of Central Asian countries particularly affected by hazards related to climate change.

Minister of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic Almaz Baketayev said: “I would like to thank the EBRD for supporting the development of this water supply system. The support will facilitate delivery of vital water resources to irrigation sites, specifically in the Aravan district”.

Ayten Rustamova, EBRD Regional Head for the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, said: “By financing this project we are promoting more efficient water use, contemporary cultivation practices and sustainable farming. The project will improve food security in Central Asia and enable the creation of new job opportunities in the country’s most populous area.”

As part of the project, the EBRD will also help the SWRA develop training programmes for farmers, supporting the economic inclusion of women.

To date, the EBRD has invested €855 million through 208 projects in the Kyrgyz Republic, with the majority of investments supporting private entrepreneurship. More than €60 million has been invested in 24 water projects across the country to date.

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