“USAID helped me double my income by growing high-quality corn seed”, said Sabira Jumabaeva, who received humanitarian aid from a USAID project, implemented by the IFDC.
Sabira Jumabaeva runs a family farm in southern Kyrgyzstan. She grows early potatoes and corn on her 0.7 hectare field. She used to grow local varieties of corn and received low yields of three to four tons.
Due to turmoil in Osh in June 2010, many farmers in southern Kyrgyzstan did not have any access to agricultural inputs. Jumabaeva was chosen as one of many farmers to receive humanitarian aid from USAID. The project distributed 20 tons of high-quality hybrid corn seed worth $104,000 donated by Pioneer Switzerland through Eurasia Group Kyrgyzstan. Sixteen tons of seeds were distributed in the north and 4 tons in southern Kyrgyzstan.
The distributed hybrid corn seed was suitable for planting after the wheat harvest at the end of June. This is the first time this technology has been used in Kyrgyzstan. It gave farmers an opportunity to increase land use efficiency by harvesting two crops in one season, improve livestock feed, and generate better income.
The project used private sector outlets for distribution and delivery of seed to beneficiaries, which was completed within one week. The seed was distributed free of charge. Two thousand farmers in the north and 800 farmers in the south benefited from this intervention. Moreover, the project prepared and distributed leaflets, conducted seminars, produced and broadcasted a 10-minute video to help farmers apply the right growing techniques for high-yielding corn hybrids to allow them to boost crop yields and improve economic returns.
Sabira is happy with the results on her field. “This year I harvested 15 tons of seed. This is the biggest yield of corn I have ever received from my field”, said Jumabaeva. She is planning to purchase modern compound fertilizers for spring planting. “I now realize that using quality inputs is a key to receiving high yields. This experience helped me to understand the importance of quality seeds and new cultivation technologies”, Jumabaeva said.