“We have built fish farms and established a fish incubator and a fish feed plant. Next we will start restocking water basins in our region with fish. We expect the demand for fish to grow as more and more people understand the positive health impacts of eating fish,” explains Artur Egemberdiev, a chairman of a Kyrgyz fish farmers’ association.
Kyrgyzstan provides excellent prerequisites for fish farming and the industry has long traditions in the country. However, the production and consumption of fish collapsed when the country became independent in 1991. Since 2009, efforts have been made to revitalise the Kyrgyz fisheries sector with support provided by Finland and the UN agricultural organization FAO.
By the year 2017 the fish production had grown more than tenfold, to 2 020 tonnes annually. The efforts of the associations have helped poor farmers in rural areas to increase their income. As part of the work, the management of the country’s water resources has been improved and education institutions have been provided with more competence to train researchers and fish farmers.
Photo: FAO, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta