JICA and FAO support agribusiness development in Tajikistan

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JICA Tajikistan Office says the project aims to give smallholder farmers access to critical agricultural inputs, namely good quality potato seeds and fertilizers and advanced agro-consulting services, to enhance livelihoods by advancing yields and promoting market-oriented agriculture in Tajikistan.

The pilot project to enhance agribusiness in Tajikistan is reportedly in the frame of JICA’s initiatives on introducing the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) approach, which aims to build the capacity of farmers to increase income and improve the access to markets for their produce.

Muneo Takasaka, Chief Representative of JICA Tajikistan Office stated, “Agribusiness development plays a key role in improvement of Food Security status in Tajikistan. In this regard, access to quality seeds, advanced and innovative agro-consulting services are very important. JICA decided to introduce SHEP approach in Tajikistan as the first experience in Central Asia. SHEP is a model, which promotes market-oriented agriculture among small-scale farmers. We believe that our fruitful collaboration with FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tajikistan in this project will support the Government of Tajikistan to put a strong step forward in achieving its strategic goals “Ensuring Food Security.”

“The project will cover few districts in the Rasht Valley and Sughd Province to further enhance the potato seed production system in the country. The project will also help to improve livelihood and strengthen food security among vulnerable households in Khuroson district,” said Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan.

JICA began its technical cooperation with Tajikistan in 1993 by inviting Tajik officials to gain knowledge and experience on governance and macroeconomics development. As of March 2020, a total number of participants to JICA’s Knowledge Co-Creation Programs, formerly called the Training Programs, has exceeded 2380 people. JICA Office was established in 2006 in Tajikistan and since then various Grant Financial Assistance and Technical Cooperation projects have been implemented more dynamically, aiming at improving living standard of Tajik people for the sectors such as agriculture and rural development, water supply, health, transport, energy, capacity building as well as SME promotion. JICA’s cumulative investment portfolio in Tajikistan in all sectors comprises 44 projects amounting to more than 418.5 million USD (94.66 million USD for Technical Cooperation and 324 million USD for Grant Assistance), including 14 ongoing projects.

Cooperation between Tajikistan and FAO has been ongoing since the country joined the Organization in 1995. FAO assistance was initially provided in the form of short-term emergency interventions in response to a locust outbreak as well as support for the country’s transition to stability after a period of civil war. More recently, cooperation has focused on rehabilitation and development interventions to build a sustainable and competitive agriculture sector, including improved food security and nutrition, and resilience to climate change.

FAO’s assistance in Tajikistan is shaped by the 2019-2021 FAO Country Programming Framework (CPF), which is centered on three priority areas: enhancing national food and nutritional security and safety; supporting sustainable management of natural resources and improved resilience to climate change; and boosting sustainable agricultural productivity and competitiveness.

Jointly formulated with the Government and other partners, the CPF reflects relevant priorities in key national development policies, including Tajikistan’s Agricultural Reform Program (2012-2020).

Source: Asia-Plus