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Pilot agricultural project completed in Balkhash region

15 october 2020
WWF-Russia initiated a project to grow vegetables and fruits by local residents in Karoy village in the beginning of this year. The main goal was to help people to improve their living standards and reduce the negative impact on the biodiversity of the region.

The executor of WWF project - the Ecobioproject Public Foundation - signed an agreement with the local authorities and the Ile-Balkhash nature reserve to implement a pilot project.

“By involving the local population into the development of agriculture, we give people the opportunity of an alternative income instead of poaching, which contributes to the preservation of the unique ecosystems of the Ili River Delta and the South Balkhash region. Also, this kind of projects helps to develop environmental awareness and respect of nature among the local population”, - Grigoriy Mazmaniants, Director of the Central Asian Program of WWF-Russia says.

Twenty Karoy families wished to participate the project. The local authorities allocated 2 hectares of plowed land with the support of equipment provided by the Ile-Balkhash reserve. The Ecobioproject funded by WWF-Russia fenced the area, provided irrigation equipment, purchased planting material commissioned by residents, and conducted training classes for families.

Farm fair in Karoy village
(c) WWF Russia

With spring arrival, the local residents planted agricultural crops, and, in September, they got a large harvest and, finally, held a farm fair. The best project participants received certificates and branded WWF T-shirts. Considering that the average family size in Karoy is from 6 to 10 people, about 180 residents were involved in the work.

This agricultural project is a part of the tiger reintroduction program that WWF-Russia implements with the government of Kazakhstan.

For additional information please contact
Director of the Central Asian Program Office of WWF-Russia