The Benefits and Challenges of Farming in Mixed Crop-Livestock Production Systems in Ala-Buka, Kyrgyzstan <Article>
JIDC_20-3_57.pdf 489 KB
Maharjan, Keshav Lall
In Kyrgyzstan, the agrarian land reform has changed Soviet model of state-owned land with predominance of large-scale farm enterprises to a market-oriented model of privately owned land with predominance of small and medium-sized family farms. This study intends to analyze costs and benefits realized by farmers in producing major food crops, and to identify major challenges faced by these farmers in producing these crops. Field study was carried out in Baltagulov and 1-May Village Governments in Ala-Buka districts covering 240 households. Cost and benefits of cereals, vegetables and forage crops were analyzed separately crop-wise and cropping pattern-wise. We found three types of cropping patterns adopted by farmers: single, double and transition. However, it was found that majority of HHs in the study area (81%) grow three crops: wheat, maize and sunflower as these crops are important for food for human, feed for livestock, and oil for human consumption, respectively. Among the crops, the highest Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) was obtained in maize (2.98) under mono cropping, and it was followed by tobacco and vegetables. Though wheat and sunflower have low BCR, farmers grow these crops as there is a low production risk while growing these crops, and they are important to make farmers' livelihoods. Cash crops (such as vegetable and potato) have benefit but there is high cost as well, and farmers bear more risks in their production. So, majority of households couldn't offer to grow these cash crops in larger land size. This study also triangulated major problems diagnosed from cost benefit analysis with those captured from farmers' perception, and found congruence between these two sources. Major constraints faced by farmers are machinery, irrigation, labor, seed, input and output price and unexpected weather as major challenges in crop production. However, there is specificity in constraints with respect to crops. For example, irrigation and unstable price of output are the major constraints in vegetables whereas lack of machinery is most important in wheat and forage crops.