Jeti-Oguz district, Issyk-Kul region, Kyrgyz Republic – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and private entrepreneur Kuluipa Dzhuzumalieva partnered to expand the Ak-Jalga dairy processing facility in Kyzyl-Suu village located in the Issyk-Kul region. This partnership benefits more than 400 local farmers and creates 50 new jobs.
With the support of USAID’s Enterprise Competitiveness Project, Ak-Jalga upgraded with new equipment for melted cheese production and packaging, diversifying its product offering. Ms. Dzhuzumalieva jointly invested in additional equipment and a new laboratory to ensure compliance with the international quality and safety standards, which will assist in opening new international markets.
“In our work we prioritize food safety and producing high-quality products for our consumers. To achieve this, we focus on introducing constant improvements and innovations in the production process and using modern equipment”, says Kuluipa Dzhuzumalieva.
Established in 1994, Ak-Jalga Company is one of the largest dairy processing facilities in the Issyk-Kul region with a processing capacity of 100 metric tons (MT) of milk per day. Currently, the factory processes around 50 MT of milk per day and exports up to 70 percent of its products to neighboring countries. Ak-Jalga is focusing on meeting the growing demand from Kyrgyzstani retailers for safe dairy products.
“We’re proud to support entrepreneurs like Kuluipa Dzhuzumalieva, who are the driving force of the Kyrgyz Republic’s economic development. We also pay special attention to supporting agricultural producers because they contribute to the nation’s food security,” said Keith Simmons, USAID/Kyrgyz Republic Acting Mission Director. “All of the support from USAID comes in the form of grants, so our partners do not have to pay this money back.”
The company currently has 126 full-time employees and collects milk from 7,000 small-scale farms and households. As a result of the expansion with USAID support, Ak-Jalga is planning to create 50 new full-time jobs and add 400 more local farmers to their supply chain.
The USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project is a $23 million investment initiative over five years. The project works with small and medium businesses in the fields of agriculture, textiles, IT, education, and food processing to support expansion of production and sales to create more jobs in Kyrgyzstan. The program has already provided support to more than 90 businesses across the country.
For more information on this project, please contact Zhyldyz Niiazalieva, Communications Advisor of USAID Enterprise Competitiveness Project, firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: +996 (770) 808 063.