First mission successfully completed on the meat value chain development project in Tajikistan

The formation of a group of livestock producers in Murghab, Tajikistan, began as the result of the first FAO mission to the site during 2 to 16 May, 2013. The project is one of the six components of the Agrarian Structures Initiative of FAO in the European and Central Asian Region, which is working to develop a meat value chain by promoting a food safety-compliant and environmentally sustainable business model that would link the remote mountain communities of the world-famous Pamirs in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) to the existing market in Dushanbe.
Before the project began, a comprehensive market study and a B2B marketing survey were conducted in the capital in order to understand the requirements of potential consumers and shape production systems accordingly. Discussions with Hotels-Restaurants-Catering (HORECA) sector operators confirmed that there is a strong interest towards Pamiri products, particularly yak meat.
Subsequently, the FAO team drove to Murghab, where a two-day mobilization workshop and practical training for herders was conducted. The event turned out to be a great success, attracting 25 yak herders and with discussion focused on economic benefits from an improved farming model, such as strong disease prevention programmes, provision of winter fodder stocks, fattening facilities, value addition to raw products, smart marketing and much more. The dialogue helped farmers realize that most issues related to low incomes from livestock farming can be overcome by better organization of the processes, from production to sales.
The workshop ended with many participants uniting forces to form a group of livestock producers and a temporary president was elected to lead the mobilization process locally.
Throughout the project, FAO will cooperate with the Veterinary Association of Tajikistan to increase herders’ capacity on animal health issues. The association will conduct a series of training seminars in each jamoat of Murghab district from June to September. The next FAO Headquarters mission will take place at the end of the summer and will focus on market-driven production techniques and processing of livestock by-products. A promotional event featuring the products of the newly formed group, their territory and culture will be held in the capital early Fall to support the marketing campaign of the group.

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