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Last Updated:[26-08-2010 02:58:26 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Country in Conundrum of Siding Whom Leaves Citizens Starving

tradenews Despite relative success of reaping decent harvest after the worst violence interfered with the first of the two crops of the year in June, the farmers in Southern Kyrgyzstan are at the crossroads for finding buyers for their produce. As reported by TOBOC in June, Kyrgyzstan remains to require hands off reconciliation from the US and Russia to breathe easy as trade is often influenced by political state of affairs as well as policies of any country.

According to EurasiaNet, Kyrgyz farmers are experiencing their worst nightmare since they are not able to sell their produce after Kazakhstan closed borders, and the unsold potatoes are rotting away and depriving them of money to buy food. Farmers are desperate to sell the potatoes even for a loss, and many believe the problems they are facing today are direct fallout of the ethnic violence that rocked the country two months ago.

A farmer said that the price per kilo potato has crashed by more than half from what it was last year. The potatoes are priced at 14 cents but are selling at 10 cents though they received more than 30 cents in 2009.

Furthermore, a new customs union connecting Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus is also seemed to be creating difficulty in getting goods across the borders. The Union is understood to have increased the tariffs by three times, making Kyrgyz products dearer in the new bloc's markets.

The UN Development Program (UNDP) told that the only way to reboot the Kyrgyz economy was by making the borders open for trade, at least Uzbekistan. Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished Central Asian state hosting Russian and the US military air bases, expects the economy to shrink by 5 percent.

However, the World Food Program, the UN agency said it was preparing to bolster its operations in the country, where almost 350,000 more people might soon be in need of food. It also informed the threat stems from rising foods prices, a poor harvest, and the onset of winter.

By Jose Roy

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