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Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition

Tajikistan

The launch of the Agrarian Reform Programme of the Republic of Tajikistan for the period 2012-2020 has been an important step for addressing Tajikistan’s low agricultural productivity. The Tajik Government has identified “enhancing national food and nutritional security and safety” as one of the Programme’s priority areas.

FAO’s assistance in Tajikistan, which is closely aligned with national development strategies, focuses in particular on the implementation of the Agrarian Reform Programme. Support has been provided in strengthening analytical and technical capacities to review and formulate national policies on food security and food safety, nutrition and agriculture. To facilitate effective implementation of these policies, efforts have also centred on creating an enabling institutional environment. Furthermore, farmers, processing companies and government institutions have received technical and managerial support to promote inclusive, efficient and sustainable agricultural value chains that are nutrition-sensitive.  

Adopting an integrated approach to broader rural development, the “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia” project aims to operationalize linkages between social protection, nutrition and agricultural interventions. The project (under its first output) pilots two policy options in this regard. The first pilot, the “School Food and Nutrition Program linked to the Agricultural Sector”, addresses the missing linkages between the National School Feeding Program and local agricultural activities and adopts a comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing food insecurity and malnutrition.  The ultimate aim is to promote diet quality among school children and local communities and to build capacities in the field of nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The second pilot, “Promoting Inclusive Economic Growth through Matching Grants”, aims to promote food security and sustainable rural development by leveraging human and financial resources of migrant workers and their families. Tajikistan is the top receiver of remittances in the world (accounting for 42% of the country’s GDP in 2014), although the significant development potential of these has yet to be realized.  

In turn, the two pilots will provide an evidence base on the impact of an integrated approach in terms of food security, nutrition and social protection outcomes, as well as inform key national policy processes. This relates directly to the second project output: improved policies, legislations and programs with a specific focus on labour migrants. The pilots are particularly important in drafting the Strategy for Migrant Labour 2016-2020 and the National Sustainable School Feeding Strategy. More generally, the project assists in aligning national efforts on strengthening food security and nutrition with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The third project output facilitates the implementation of the pilots by focusing on coordination and advocacy for enhanced political commitment and interministerial support on food security and nutrition. To promote multisectoral governance and national action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the project aims to strengthen the capacities of the Food Security Council of Tajikistan. In collaboration with UNICEF and WHO, it promotes child nutrition and social policies with an emphasis on the most vulnerable.