Kyrgyz farmers deliver organic valerian root to European market

BISHKEK (TCA) — Gulnur Januzakova from the village of Kurbu in Kyrgyzstan’s Issyk-Kul province delivers valerian roots grown in her garden to Germany. She started growing this medicinal herb on an area of 100 square meters and received a first harvest of 280 kilograms. She expects to gather the same harvest this year.   

Some 400 other Issyk-Kul farmers also grow valerian roots for a German pharmaceutical company with the support from the Promotion of Sustainable Economic Development Programme of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).  

The farmers have been trained to grow valerian roots without chemicals and pesticides. Over the past two years German pharmaceutical company Schwabe has purchased 18 tons of valerian roots from Kyrgyz farmers. This year the farmers expect to grow 20 tons.

Valerian roots are processed and dried by the Kyrgyz pharmaceutical company Galenpharm, which also helps Issyk-Kul farmers to deliver this certified organic product to Germany at a price fixed in a contract.

Production of valerian root is a stable source of income for local farmers.

To grow valerian roots for export requires knowledge and skills. The Agrolead organization and the Agency for Development Initiatives (ADI), with support from GIZ’s Promotion of Sustainable Economic Development Programme, have organized a training center for trainers who, in turn, train other farmers in their villages in techniques of growing valerian roots.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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