EU, GIZ sign an agreement to join efforts in improving situation in rural Tajikistan

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The European Union (EU) and Germany announce a new cooperation to boost added value of agricultural production in Tajikistan, according to the EU Delegation to Tajikistan.

Together, they reportedly plan to strengthen the capacities of Tajik partners to shape agricultural policy, improve technical and entrepreneurial skills of smallholder farmers, SMEs, associations and cooperatives along the selected value chains, and better connect agricultural production to the markets. As response to the COVID-19 crises, small holder farmer will receive support in form of seeds, seedlings, fertilizers and other inputs.

Furthermore, the new program will improve the capacity of national, regional, district and local actors in the water sector to elaborate development plans with a focus on Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM).

The Tajik public partners are the Ministry of Economic Development of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and provincial administrations. Private partners are business membership organizations, national and international implementing partners as well as small and medium enterprises and small holder farmers. The focal area for European financed activities will be in Zarafshan Valley and Rasht Valley.

The project will be implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ).

In her opening speech, EU Ambassador Ms. Marilyn Josefson said: ‘This new initiative will contribute to address the issue of rural poverty and food security, which is key in the European Union’s support to Tajikistan. With GIZ we have an experienced partner on board and we look forward to the cooperation.’

The agreement was signed by Ms. Marilyn Josefson and Ms. Sabine Olthof, Country Director of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on March 2 in presence of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and Dr. Andreas Prothmann, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Tajikistan.

Rural Development is one of the sectors supported by the European Union under its current program in Tajikistan. EUR 100 million have been made available to contribute to poverty reduction, improving people’s livelihoods and food security, while at the same time respecting the natural resource base and mitigating the impact of climate change. Between 2014 and 2020, the European Union has committed EUR 251 million to Health, Education and Rural Development in support of Tajikistan’s National Development Strategy.

EU is co-financing with EUR 20,5 million GIZ’s running project Towards Rural Inclusive Growth and Economic Resilience (TRIGGER), also financed with EUR 9 million by the German Government until the end of 2024. The joint project will be called Integrated Rural Development Project (IRDP). It is part of the EU’s Rural Development Program (Phase II) which was signed between EU and the Tajik Government in 2019. The signing of the IRDP contract took place on 02 March 2021 in Serena Hotel.

Source: Asia-Plus