French fries are a favorite for many people around the world. Whether fresh cut or frozen, these fried rays of sunshine play a big role on the market. A fairly new player on this market is Kyrgyzstan where growers find favorable conditions for the potatoes but lack experience and technology to breach the European markets. Eldiar Abdykerimov wants to change this and is looking for partners.
"We're originally a seed potato producer. We recently started cultivating varieties from the Netherlands that are especially suitable for French fries and I decided to take this development a step further," Eldiar says. "There are no large producers of fries in Kyrgyzstan and we import the products from Europe, which makes them very expensive. We can not meet the demand on the domestic market – but why shouldn't we?"
The circumstances are ideal, according to Eldiar: "We have the acreage, access to water and low labor costs. We are located in the Issyk-Kul region in Northern Kyrgyzstan which has a climate that is great for growing potatoes." He sees this as a promising business venture: "The French fry industry is not very developed in our country and the surrounding area." This opens up many doors on the domestic markets but also for exports. "We received the status of Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), that means no customs tax payments for goods made in Kyrgyzstan when they are being sent to the EU."
"I have the land and the raw materials – now I'm looking for the expertise in the processing field." Eldiar is planning on building a factory with machinery to produce frozen French fries. "With this we are targeting large catering businesses through wholesalers but we also plan on producing smaller batches for retail."
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