Cash-Strapped Farmers Can't Afford Tractors

Farmers in Kyrgyzstan say their crops are often spoiled because they cannot afford their own tractors and have to queue up to borrow others’.

Cash-Strapped Farmers Can't Afford Tractors

Farmers in Kyrgyzstan say their crops are often spoiled because they cannot afford their own tractors and have to queue up to borrow others’.

Tuesday, 9 June, 2009
Jyldyz Joroeva reports on an exhibition where state-of-the-art farm machines from Germany were on show, but were well beyond the pockets of those who came to look at them.



About half the farm machinery in Kyrgyzstan is out of order. According to Agriculture Minister Iskender Aydaraliev, “We have done a study that showed that of the 24,000 tractors [across Kyrgyzstan], 16,000 are more or less functional and can work in the fields. The other 8,000 amount to scrap metal and need to be taken off the books.”



Kurmanbek Dykanbaev, who runs a firm selling farm equipment, says the government could easily arrange to source cheaper machinery.



“The agriculture ministry should work for farmers and take care of them, rather than being the ‘ministry for strategic data’," he said. "The problem is that it’s only interested in what people have planted and how much of it, and in how much was harvested. The rest is of little significance to it.”



Farmers say they cannot get bank loans to buy the equipment they need. Aydaraliev says a new leasing system should make this cheaper.

Kyrgyzstan
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