BISHKEK (TCA) — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Farmer’s Organic Garden LLC (FOG) have inaugurated a new fruit and vegetable processing facility in Suzak district of Jalal-Abad oblast in south Kyrgyzstan. The upgraded processing facility expands FOG’s juice, dried fruit, pickled vegetable, jam and tomato paste production, making it the largest processing facility in the oblast. The new facility is expected to generate 155 new jobs, the US Embassy in Kyrgyzstan said.
USAID co-financed a new juice bottling line, an automated packaging line for dried fruit products, and an automated tomato paste and preserve line. The HACCP-compliant premises now have a processing capacity of 15,600 metric tons and storage capacity of 11,105 cubic meters, and will support expanded domestic sales and exports. HACCP compliance is critical to enabling exports of locally produced food items, and was made possible through USAID’s support. Over the next two years, FOG will procure 5,400 MT of raw materials and benefit 1,384 households.
During the inauguration event, USAID/Kyrgyz Republic Economic Development Office Director Luis Hernandez highlighted the importance and long-term impact of partnering with commercially viable businesses to grow the country’s economy. “Expanding FOG’s production capacity and implementing international food safety standards will lead to increased exports to accelerate and expand the local demand for agriculture production from farmers.”
This facility was launched as part of the USAID Agro Horizon Project, a four-year program working across four oblasts (Osh, Jalal-Abad, Batken and Naryn) with the goal to increase smallholder farmers’ incomes by improving productivity and expanding Kyrgyz producers’ reach to local and international markets. To meet these objectives, the project has partnered with 49 businesses in the country to leverage a commitment of over $27 million of private capital. The project also helps to improve the availability of nutritious foods.