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  Tajikistan

Reference Date: 07-May-2020

FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT

  1. Favourable conditions of 2020 winter cereal crops

  2. Cereal output in 2019 estimated at near‑average level

  3. Cereal imports in 2019/20 forecast near‑average level

  4. Prices of wheat flour and potatoes increased in March amid strong demand due to COVID‑19 concerns

Favourable conditions of 2020 winter cereal crops

Planting of the 2020 winter cereals, mainly wheat, finalized in mid‑November and crops will be harvested from June. Weather conditions have been overall favourable throughout the season and, based on remote sensing analysis and information (see ASI map), vegetation conditions in late April were good across the crop lands.

Planting of the 2020 spring crops, to be harvested from August, is ongoing under favourable weather conditions and it is expected to finalize by end‑June.

Cereal output in 2019 estimated at near‑average level

Harvesting of the 2019 cereal crops was completed in September last year, under favourable weather conditions. The aggregate cereal output, mainly wheat, is estimated at a near‑average level of 1.24 million tonnes. Production of wheat in 2019 is set at 830 000 tonnes, just below the five‑year average level, on account of a slightly below‑average area planted. Maize output is estimated at 175 000 tonnes, about 15 percent below the average value, mainly due to reduced plantings.

Cereal imports in 2019/20 forecast at near‑average level

Imports account for more than half of the domestic consumption needs of cereals and wheat represents more than 90 percent of the cereal imports.

Given the overall favourable output of the 2019 harvest, import requirements of wheat in the 2019/20 marketing year (July/June) are forecast at 1.1 million tonnes, close to the five‑year average level. During the last ten years, due to improved local milling capacities, imports of wheat grain have been increasing, while purchases of wheat flour have decreased by almost 90 percent.

Prices of wheat flour and potatoes increased in March amid strong demand due to COVID‑19 concerns

Retail prices of wheat flour, which remained overall stable between November 2019 and February 2020, moderately rose in March, due to increased consumer demand amid concerns over the COVID‑19 epidemic and export limitations imposed by the Government of Kazakhstan , the country’s main wheat supplier.

Prices of potatoes, another important food staple, seasonally increased between November 2019 and March 2020. Prices increased particularly in March, reaching levels twice as high as twelve months before, due to strong demand from consumers, fearing supply shortages due to the pandemic.

COVID‑19 and measures adopted by the Government

In response to the COVID‑19 pandemic, the Government adopted a series of preventive measures including the closure of borders and schools, and the cancellation of all public events.

On 2 April 2020, the World Bank approved a USD 11.3 million grant to finance the Tajikistan Emergency COVID‑19 Project, which is aimed at supporting the country’s efforts to prepare for, and effectively respond to, the health and social risks associated with the pandemic. The Project includes measures to support the most vulnerable households, such as emergency cash transfers to food insecure families unable to cope with rising food prices.

On 5 April 2020, the Government issued the COVID‑19 Country Preparedness and Response Plan and the Action Plan for preventing and reducing the national economy’s exposure to potential risks of COVID‑19, which includes measures to ensure macro‑economic stability, improvement of the banking system, efficient use of national budget funds and targeted social payments to vulnerable households.

On 25 April 2020, the Government introduced a temporary export ban on a number of food staples, including wheat grain and wheat flour, legumes, rice, eggs, potatoes and all kinds of meat. The ban is meant to ensure adequate domestic supplies and curb price increases.

Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.