Wednesday, April 25, 2012 -
The Kumtor gold mine operating company said on Wednesday it will help develop a fruit-processing plant in east Kyrgyzstan, in an area favorable for the cultivation of apricots.
The new facility, to be located on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul lake, will develop a Kyrgyz brand of apricot that the producers aim to sell in Europe.
The project will promote the brand as “Apricots from Kyrgyzstan.”
Kumtor Operating Company, a joint venture between Canadian miner Centerra Gold and the Kyrgyz government, will provide training for local residents in the village of Barskoon in production management and care, the KyrTAG news agency reported.
Kumtor and Kyrgyz public association AgroLid will participate in the joint initiative with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Dutch non-governmental organization Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO).
The mountainous country harvests more than 18,000 tons of apricots annually, placing it 34th in the global production rankings.
But to date, “Issyk-Kul apricots were not always able to withstand competition in the markets of Russia and Kazakhstan,” Kumtor said in a statement.
So the venture will deploy 16 experts around the Jeti-Oguz and Ton districts of Issyk-Kul province to train 240 farmers on improved methods to attain fruit that meets international standards.