BISHKEK, March 7, 2014 – The World Bank and the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic have signed today an agreement for the US$ 2.8 million grant from the Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) to increase agricultural productivity through support for the expansion of the community seed fund system in the Kyrgyz Republic. The funds will be managed by the Government and the project will be supervised by the World Bank.
In 2012, the Government of Japan, one of the major World Bank donors, approved the allocation of US$ million 2.8 to the Kyrgyz Republic. A special request of the Government of Japan has been that this JSDF grant be used to support rural citizens representing the most vulnerable population groups. In response to this request, the Ministry of Agriculture proposed to support expansion of the community seed funds, including rural women's self-help groups.
“I am glad to participate in this signing ceremony today. We hope that the assistance coming from JSDF will make a positive impact on the lives of the people living in rural areas as well as contribute to the development of Kyrgyz agriculture,” said Takayuki Koike, Ambassador Extraodinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic.
“We are very grateful to the Government of Japan for supporting community seed funds in the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Alexander Kremer, World Bank Country Manager for the Kyrgyz Republic.“This grant will raise the incomes and food security of small-scale farmers whose yields depend on the quality of their seed.”
The proposed project activities will provide support to the development of the community seed fund system by:
training community seed fund mobilizers;
assisting in creation of about 90 Community Seed Funds (CSFs) and providing training to the CSF members;
providing high quality seeds and fertilizers to the members of newly created CSFs and women self-help groups.
Overall, the grant will benefit 4,000 rural citizens in all 7 oblasts of the country. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Improvement of the Kyrgyz Republic, with the implementation unit based in the Agribusiness Competitiveness Center under the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic.
The JSDF was established by the Government of Japan in 2000 as a means of supporting activities which directly respond to the needs of poor and vulnerable groups, enhance their capacities, and strengthen their empowerment and participation in the development process. The Fund is administered by the World Bank. Up until the end of June 2013, the Government of Japan has contributed to the JSDF US$ 661 million and approved US$ 585 million to support over 300 social development programs and projects in different parts of the world.