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Kyrgyzstan: World Bank Loan To Aid Farm Sector

Washington, 6 June 1997 (RFE/RL) - The World Bank has approved a loan of about $16 million to the Kyrgyz Republic to help finance creation of a new credit system for private farms and to privatize agribusiness enterprises.

The bank says the country must urgently replace the failing Agroprombank, and will use the newly created agricultural credit cooperation agency to provide credit for farm restructuring, support of new small farmers and to help privatize food processing firms.

Bank project manager Barnabas Zegge says the credit facility is essential and necessary for the country to transform its rural sector into a market-based productive system.

Agriculture accounts for 30 percent of the Kyrgyz economy and one third of the country's employment. Another 10 percent of the labor force works in agricultural related industries, an area that the bank says has "dramatically declined" in Kyrgyzstan since independence.