The European Union funded Project “INITIATIVE": Innovative Income Tools and Integrated Approaches To Improve Villagers Employment" is implemented by Austrian non-profit organization EcoHimal in partnership with local NGOs – Public Association "Agents of Changes" and Public Association "Centre for strategizing of budget process". The Project covers 4 Aiyl Aimaks of Ala-Buka rayon of Djalal-Abad oblast – Oruktu, Ak-Korgon, Ala-Buka and Pervomay. Project implementation period is 2 years, 1 December 2015 – 30 November 2017.
Overall objective of the project is mobilization of local community resources to ensure sustainable agricultural development and poverty alleviation among the most vulnerable groups of rural population in Ala-Buka rayon of Jalal-Abad oblast, namely:
- Support of local innovative initiatives to improve employment and ensure sustainable income generating activities among rural youth;
- Creation of favourable infrastructure conditions to increase agricultural productivity and improve life safety in the most vulnerable border communities;
- Strengthening the capacity of local communities in effective management of business activities and improving life quality in rural areas.
The Project is aimed at improving life quality of target region’s population, particularly socially vulnerable women, young people of 18-30 year old and representatives of ethnic minorities.
Main components of the Project are:
- Launching of fruit and vegetables processing plant in Ak-Korgon Aiyl Okmotu. This Project component provides for procurement, delivery and assembling of necessary equipment and training of plant operator. Premises for plant and its connection to communications will be ensured by local self-government bodies on a free-of-charge basis. 20 people from among most vulnerable groups will be employed at the plant.
- Launching of plant producing hose pipes for drip irrigation systems in Ala-Buka Aiyl Okmotu. The Project budget will cover procurement, delivery and installation of necessary equipment and training of plant operator. Post-consumer polyethylene bags and plastic bottles will be used as raw material for hose pipe production. Premises for plant and its connection to communications will be ensured by local self-government bodies on a free-of-charge basis. 20 people from among most vulnerable groups of the target rayon will be employed at the plant.
Introduction of drip irrigation systems in pilot area of 15 ha demonstration fields in Ak-Korgon and 1-May Aiyl Okmotu. Procurement and installation of equipment for drip irrigation system will be made at the Project expense. This Project component will ensure access of local farmers to sufficient volume of irrigation water, increase of productivity and significant improve of their incomes.
- Rehabilitation of 550 m section of irrigation channel in Oruktu-Say. The Project budget will cover FS of the channel, designing project of channel rehabilitation, procurement and delivery of construction materials. All land and construction works will be implemented by local self-governments and local inhabitants (ashar). Implementation of this Project component will result in reduced water loss at the rehabilitated section, decreased threat of flooding for 100 households, increased yield due to increased volume of irrigation water, decreased costs of local people on rehabilitation and maintenance of their houses.
- Strengthening capacity of 600 representatives of project target groups and beneficiaries on planning and organization of income-generating activities, fundraising and project development, effective water management, budgeting process and organization of public hearings, on-site training on drip irrigation, up-to-date methods of agribusiness, etc. Precise list of training topics will be identified on the basis of training needs analysis.
Estimated results of the Project:
- Increased income of farmers due to better irrigation techniques;
- Increased productivity of irrigated areas and incomes of farmers through ensuring sustainable supply of irrigation water by means of channel rehabilitation and optimization of management process;
- Created conditions for effective management of available water resources trough training for WUAs;
- At least twofold increase of income of vulnerable groups (youth, women and ethnic minorities);
- Improved living perspectives for beneficiaries and incentives to stay in the region;
- Created preconditions to ensure sustainability of income-generating objects and created new sources of income;
- Vulnerable groups are involved in local development and decision-making processes;
- Increased level of interest and involvement of local community in local development processes;
- Increased confidence of local community to local governments;
- Reduced conflicts related to water;
- Local ownership of project results ensured;
- Strong multiplier effect;
- Strengthened management, planning and project implementation.