Shayirkul Adreshova is part of group of women farmers who supply medicinal herbs to European markets, thanks to WFP/GIZ project. Photo: WFP/Alima Nurgazieva

A WFP Project Empowers Women Farmers In Rural Kyrgyzstan

In a remote Kyrgyz village, Shayirkul Adreshova had the seemingly impossible dream of becoming a successful business woman whose products sell internationally. The dream turned into reality three years after she had joined a WFP food-for-assets project that assists vulnerable rural women. She is now part of a small group of women farmers who provide medicinal herbs to European markets, including valerian that is most often used to treat insomnia.


Kyrgyz Republic, is a landlocked low-income country in Central Asia dominated by the majestic Tian Shan snow-capped mountain range. A former Soviet Republic, the country gained independence in 1991. Although it has since made some economic progress, almost 38 percent of the people remain below the poverty line and an estimated 24 percent are food-insecure. One of the main reasons large parts of the population are locked in a cycle of poverty and hunger is that the country is frequently exposed to natural disasters shocks such as earthquakes, mudslides and floods combined with dilapidated infrastructure and a complex ethnic and political environment.

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Country at a glance 2014
Planned Beneficiaries165,000
Beneficiary needs (mt)3,806
Beneficiary needs ($US)6,852,546