Women-owned agricultural association in Kyrgyzstan plans to expand exports
The International Trade Centre’s Export Management Coaching Initiative – implemented as part of the EU-funded Ready4Trade Central Asia project – provides the needed advice for businesses to take advantage of the EU market
AgroLead Plus is a public agricultural association that unites more than 100 farming unions across Kyrgyzstan, with a total of over 1,000 hectares of cultivated land. The woman-owned small business focuses on the production and exports of potato and potato seeds to neighbouring countries but has plans to expand its export country list.
AgroLead Plus aspires to increase its export potential, especially in the areas of packaging and labelling, certification, and shipping products internationally. That is why the company participated in the International Trade Centre’s Export Management Coaching Initiative, financed by the European Union (EU), to gain some clarity on the various aspects of export processes.
Challenges and recommendations
With AgroLead exporting vegetables to neighbouring countries, strict compliance to food safety standards and regulations is essential to success. Through the training, the company received access to market analysis tools as well as information on food safety standards in the Eurasian Economic Union.
For instance, AgroLead learned that it would need forwarders to guarantee ‘cold chain’ conditions, and that forwarders would need to compensate buyers for any losses in case of failure.
The company’s chairman, Kubanychbek uulu Ulanbek, said: “It was very useful for us to get information on the Eurasian Economic Union’s Technical Regulation in relation to the safety of food products for packaging and labeling. Our current clients are in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and these requirements are not applicable there. But we have plans to access markets of the Customs Union in the future, that is why these interventions were so useful for us."
As it is vital to maintain the quality of its products, the company is currently reviewing its packaging and transportation, and developing a supplier/operator selection and evaluation system following this ITC training.