Edible Plants Sold on Marginal Rural Markets in Fergana Valley, Southern Kyrgyzstan

1 Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences, Czech Republic
2 Kyrgyz National Agrarian University after K. I. Skryabin, Agronomy Faculty, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan


VLKOVA, M., V. VERNER, A. KANDAKOV, Z. POLESNY, N. KARABAEV, L. PAWERA, I. NADVORNIKOVA and J. BANOUT, 2015. Edible plants sold on marginal rural markets in Fergana Valley, southern Kyrgyzstan. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 21: 243–250

Since the beginning of 1990s, after the dissolution of Soviet Union, many rural regions across Central Europe and Central Asia have returned to traditional market chains of food distribution. This is evident particularly in countries such as Kyrgyzstan where local production of crops were focused on production of cash-crops for export during the communism, e.g. cotton, tomatoes or melons. Nowadays, farming systems have changed into more subsistence ones, while the surpluses of edible plants are traded locally. Our survey was carried out during July 2012 in Kulundu village that is situated at the edge of Fergana Valley, about one hour by car from Isfana town. The role of rural markets was analysed as well as local food crop species together with their categories of use. We documented twenty local species sold on rural markets, which served particularly as a food supplements or garnitures for local cuisine. Furthermore, positive impact of food-crops commercialization on living standard of the vendors was also observed. Authors argued that local markets play an important role in poverty alleviation of vendors as well as food security of local population as food supplies have been fickle after Soviet Union dissolution. They played significant social role through enable people to meet regularly and purchase food supplements for daily life and generate additional cash for vendors. It is necessary to mention that traditional rural markets in target area we analysed were of minor importance at province level. However, they were prosperous and their cultural as well as socioeconomic role is undisputed.

Key words: market survey; ethnobotany; food security; living standard; Fergana Valley; Kyrgyzstan

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