Special Report: 2020 FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) to the Republic of Tajikistan (18 March 2021)

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• The total grain production in 2020 (first and second season crops) is estimated at 1.3 million tonnes. Wheat production, the country’s main staple, is estimated at a near-average level of 845 500 tonnes.

Outputs of barley and oats are estimated at below-average levels due to reduced plantings.

The output of potatoes, another main staple, is estimated at 916 000 tonnes.

• In the 2020/21 marketing year, import requirements of cereals, mostly wheat, are forecast at about 1 225 000 tonnes, while imports of potatoes are forecast at 204 000 tonnes. All imports are expected to be fully covered by commercial purchases.

• Livestock body conditions are generally good due to an adequate availability of grazing resources and sufficient fodder supplies.

• Prices of wheat flour reached record highs in May 2020 after sharply increasing in March and April due to strong consumer demand amid concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and decreased between June and July with the harvest of the 2020 wheat crops improving market supplies. Prices remained overall stable between August and October 2020 but were well above the level of one year earlier.

• Prices of potatoes sharply increased between December 2019 and April 2020, with seasonal trends exacerbated by strong demand from consumers, fearing supply shortages due to the pandemic, and reached levels twice as high as 12 months before. Prices seasonally declined between May and September 2020.

Due to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment, income, remittances and food market prices, the number of households who are not able to afford quality nutritious diets has substantially increased since March 2020.

-The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to adopt various coping strategies such as limiting the amount of food consumed per day and decreasing the portion size of the meal, selling valuable assets like cars and land, depleting food stocks and purchasing food on credit. Over 70 percent of the interviewed households reported using emergency, crisis and stress coping strategies.

• Movement restrictions, implemented to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country as well as in the neighbouring Russian Federation, affected all sources of income, resulting in decreased opportunities for seasonal migrant workers, delayed salary payment for public employees and pensioners, and reduced income of farmers due to the ban on the export of food products.

• Women-headed households are reportedly more vulnerable than their male counterparts.

• Although no notable differences were observed in the food consumption measured by diversity and frequency, a greater proportion of women-headed households reportedly had less household food stock, consumed smaller portion size and had limited access to the market during the pandemic.

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations