DEAR FRIENDS, THERE IS NO NEED TO NEGLECT BUT TO SUPPORT, PRESERVE THE SUMMER PASTURES, BEAUTY OF NATURE, HERBS, PASTURES AND THE FUTURE!
Our pastures are one of the main economic bases in our republic. Pastures affect agriculture, economy, tourism, business, high level of culture and, the most important, the life of the Kyrgyz people. Thus, pastures influence one of the directions of our economy. Therefore, in recent years I am interested in pastures as a representative of youth. In fact, the life of rural people is liaised directly with pastures. In spring they graze cattle on distant pastures to increase the number of livestock, make harvesting; in autumn they sell the cattle, harvest cattle feed, and in winter they feed the cattle and go back to the pastures in spring. According to statistics for 2018, 4 million of our population lives in rural areas. About 90 percent of them keep two or three heads of livestock in the yard.
The people derived benefit from the adoption of the law. The declaration of independence of our republic resulted in the deterioration of pastures treatment. Carefully used by our ancestors before, our pastures were excessively used in some cases. At that time, some pastures were appropriated by the rich people. Therefore, in order to manage this issue, Abdimalik Egemberdiev, the director general of the Pasture Department, for that period, together with specialists and stakeholders initiated the law "On pastures" in 2006, which was subsequently adopted. At first, the law was not approved by some state officials and people's representatives, because on the basis of the new law the privatized pastures should be returned to the people, and the pasture management remained under governance of public organizations. The parties opposing the law called into question the competency of public organizations in ability to control the direction, which was not easily managed by the state agencies. Despite this, the law began to bring a positive result. As a result of the combined efforts of the public organizations, the condition of pastures began to improve. In case if the law was not adopted, all the pastures would only belong to the rich people and the rest of the people would bear difficulties, - claimed specialists. It was a just cause. Thus, since 2009 many reforms and updates in this direction have been made. Within the law on pastures many positive results were achieved. Pasture management was delegated to people and it was the most significant change. Previously, all matters relating pastures were governed by the state agencies. But no one manages pastures better than the locals. Therefore, the law "On pastures" was adopted at the end of 2008 after a two- year research. On the grounds of the law, the pastures management was transferred to the people, the associations and pasture users unions were created.
What is the status of pastures today?
We already mentioned the irrational use of pastures by the people earlier. At that time self-interest was above all else, and the pastures on jailoos were misused. For example, the cattlemen grazed livestock on pastures from the early spring until late autumn, neglecting the fact that the grass did not grow well. As a result, the condition of pastures was deteriorated. The pasture committees initiated appropriate actions. They developed pasture usage plans, conducted explanatory work with local residents, trained them, and achieved good results. After that, the use of pastures was regulated. The pasture committees are building bridges and drinking bowls for livestock today. The traditional practices in the use of pastures of our ancestors are applied today.
Of course, there are some shortcomings. There are some shortcomings on the following pastures: Alai, Chatkal, Ak-Sai, Arpa and Suusamyr. Poisonous grass, dry pastures, wrong treatment of roadside pastures serve as an obstacle. But it doesn’t make difficulty to the National Association "Kyrgyz Jayity".
Expression of gratitude. International organizations, such as World Bank and International Fund for Agricultural Development, support Kyrgyzstan, and more specifically the National Association "Kyrgyz Jayity", in implementation of pastoral reforms. Since 2014, 80 million dollars were granted to resolve pasture- related issues by these organizations. These funds were used according to direct purpose in order to improve the pastures’ conditions. For example, in order to improve the pastures’ conditions the pasture committees were granted 2-3 agricultural items such as combines and tractors. The " Kyrgyz Jayity" cooperates with international organizations to preserve our pastures. Recently, the director of the National Association "Kyrgyz Jayity" announced that we have become members of the International Land Coalition. According to his words, this organization includes 94 countries.
Let our pastures meet us with wide open arms. To date, there are 454 actual pasture committees in the country. According to calculations, there are 9.1 million hectares of land. This means that more than 50 percent of our land is pastureland. And 86 percent of the agricultural land is pastures. This land is also called jailoo. Of these, 1 million hectares belonging to Forestry also refers to pastures.
The number of cattle is growing. The life of our people is improving, their livestock is increasing. With the increase in cattle number, the people began to migrate more and more to pastures. Experts note that pastures are weakening. Therefore, the main issue for today is raising the problem of pasture use. The National Association "Kyrgyz Jayity" reported that people have the right to decide how many cattle they put to pasture. According to the law no one has the right to limit the number of cattle. Therefore, it is important to use pastures rationally.
Traditional practices should be introduced. The meaning of life of our ancestors was connected with pastures. Pasture is our wealth. Therefore, our people were never affected by a plague. Careful use of pastures contributed to people prosperity. They used pastures while often migrated from place to place. Misuse, pollution and lack of irrigation of pastures caused punishment. The Kyrgyz kept their meadows clean. They sent a messenger to the jailoo before resettlement to make sure the pasture was ready. If the grass did not grow well they would not migrate to that jailoo. Nowadays it’s different. Cattlemen resettle when the grass is not ready, and sheep die in the rain. Therefore, the Association conducts research on this issue, works with pasture committees to introduce traditional practices in pastures use among pastoralists. First, it applied to the Christensen Fund to get support in implementation of traditional methods of pastures use. The most active pasture committees such as Bel-Aldy in Toktogul district, Zherge-Tal in Naryn and Lipenka in Issyk-Kul were selected. The experience of aksakals in correct use of pastures was adopted for conduct of trainings to people. Then they taught the local people the methods of pasture use by organizing plays, national games and entertainment. Local people were delighted to participate in these events. They noted the sense of respect to pastures and to the whole nature.
A Message. Pastures are business. In no doubt we will live in prosperity while using pastures appropriately. I think the young people know about it. It is convenient to raise cattle, sell dairy products, eat your own meat and sell it at the market, and then use the proceeds for your own needs. To achieve it, it is necessary to use rationally the land, grass and pastures. Our ancestors reasonably advised us to never neglect the grass. Let's preserve our pastures! Especially it concerns our youth. Let us preserve our nature, pastures, grass and future. If we treat our pastures well, one of the actual problems will be resolved. Our market is full of meat nowadays. But the taste is lost, and there is a growing danger. It caused by feeding livestock with artificial food but not the natural grass of pastures. Health care organizations repeatedly warn us about the danger of artificial food. Especially it affects the youth.