Water, water everywhere in Kyrgyzstan – except when and where it’s needed. Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian nation that traditionally has been well endowed with water. But, in an era marked by global warming, old assumptions about water supplies are changing, and farmers are getting nervous.
Kyrgyzstan was renowned during the Soviet era as a producer of milk products, meat and produce, but food self-sufficiency in the Central Asian nation is a thing of the past. The growing dependency on imports is fast emerging as a national security issue.
Villagers in Daroot-Korgon, high in southwest Kyrgyzstan’s Chon-Alai range, can finally see the ground. But following the harshest winter in memory, many herders are facing a struggle to stay on their feet.
Turkey has long hoped the Southeastern Anatolia Project, known as GAP, could act as an engine for economic development in a majority Kurdish area. The question now is whether the project can get into gear fast enough to save the region from an agricultural crisis.
As would any farmer with 750 hectares of land to cultivate, 68-year-old Piet Kemp likes to talk crops with the locals. But Kemp usually needs a Georgian translator to do his talking. A continent away from his native South Africa, Kemp now runs a corn business in the southern Georgian region of Kvemo-Kartli, not far from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi.
Apricots may have served as Armenia’s calling card at this year’s Eurovision pop music contest, but, back home, severe crop damage has transformed these “kisses of the earth, fruits of the sun” into a source of economic hardship.
Eighty-two-year-old Usup Amarian's 200-head flock of sheep will not be heading up into the mountains outside Yerevan for grazing this spring. Like many Yezidi shepherds, Amarian's family exported their entire flock to Iran last year to cash in on high export prices. Now, with domestic prices for sheep running at 65,000 drams (about $165) per head, Amarian cannot afford to restock.