Community Fund Zhassyl Azyk (Общественный фонд "Жасыл Азык")
Concerned with extensive soil degradation threatening their agriculture-dependent livelihoods, five farming communities of Kazakhstan created the Community Fund 'Zhasil Azik' to restore the productivity of low-fertility lands by sustainably cultivating alfalfa. Alfalfa cultivation serves as an entry point to restore soil fertility, counter the effects of monoculture, make more efficient use of scarce water supplies, and improve smallholder income. New opportunities for livestock breeding through the availability of alfalfa have further enhanced food security. The innovative approaches utilized by the group accelerate recovery of soil fertility, do not require large financial investments, are technologically accessible for smallholder agricultural producers, and have increased income by 20 percent.More than 200 jobs have been created through the initiative's work, and the national government has integrated these techniques into the National Program for the Development of Agro-industrial Complex, effectively providing the support to scale up these practices to the national level. Community Fund 'Zhasil Azik' mobilizes local communities to deliver on solutions that address global challengess of food security, land degradation, water scarcity, and adaptation to climate change.
Equator Prize Winner: 2017
Location: Almaty, Kazakhstan
Biodiversity: Drylands, ecosystem restoration
Equator Prize 2017
Eastern Europe And Central Asia
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