A first-ever Berry and Fruit Festival “Karagat Fest” will be held in the village of Bokonbayevo, Issyk-Kul province, on August 10, 2013. The AVEP Public Fund, which has organized the event with the financial support of Kumtor Operating Company, is promising to arrange a genuine holiday devoted to renowned natural products of Issyk-Kul.
As part of the Festival, a grandiose fair is supposed to be organized to enable the visitors to treat themselves to locally produced goods and take part in master classes on jam and juice production as well as take various quizes with prizes and gifts.
The purpose of the Festival is to promote berry and fruit production in the region and increase the tourist potential of the southern coast of Issyk-Kul Lake. Therefore, the organizers are planning to make the Festival an annual event, a forum for farmers, processors and consumers to foster partnerships. The Festival timing is not accidental as, first, it coincides with the height of the tourist season – a fact that may serve as an additional opportunity to attract tourists to the region. Second, it’s precisely the time when a new harvest of ecologically pure berries and fruit is gathered in the Issyk-Kul region.
The Festival will display advanced equipment, organize consultations with regard to arranging nursery gardens, hothouses and storehouses, introducing water-, energy- and labor-saving drop irrigation systems. The holiday will end with a gala concert of Kyrgyz pop stars and the festive fireworks.
“Karagat Fest is a unique event which is expected to enable farmers to close beneficial partner deals to sell their goods. The Festival will embrace not only farmer groups but also representatives of nursery garden and storehouse associations as well as representatives of international organizations,” said Maksat Abdykaparov, Director of AVEP.
“We are happy to be able to contribute to the sustainable development of Issyk-Kul province. Hopefully, the Festival will help local residents improve channels for the sales of their goods and learn more about the business. The Festival may well become, after all, an additional incitement to the development of the local economy,” said Michael Fischer, President of Kumtor Operating Company.
The AVEP Public Fund is a Central Asian non-government and non-political organization working with a wide range of international organizations engaged in the private and public sectors for effectively contributing to sustainable and innovative development of rural areas in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Karagat+ is a three-year project implemented by AVEP with the financial support of Kumtor Operating Company. The project is designed to contribute to the development of local communities and expand the potential of the berry and fruit market. Special attention is given by the project to teaching farmers the basics of marketing to enable them to access markets and increase their revenues from the sales of berries they have produced.