FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Tajik officials learn from Georgian peers in FAO study tour

Senior staff members of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Agriculture and its Statistics Agency are in Georgia now to meet with representatives of the National Statistics Office and the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture in Georgia. They are on a five-day study tour, sharing experiences on agriculture reforms, learning about implementation of agricultural policies, and observing some of the best agriculture practices in action.

The tour is part of an FAO project to improve rural livelihoods and food security in Tajikistan through strengthened institutions.

While in Georgia, the Tajik delegation will discuss the development of agricultural policy, the usage of statistical data, and the management of development project donors. In the Georgian countryside, they’ll get advice from officials on data collection, sampling and surveys, and sharing information with farmers. And when visiting the National Wine Agency of Georgia on Friday, they’ll see a working case for the export promotion of national agricultural goods.

“Georgia was selected as the destination of the study tour since the country has very recent experience in reforming and modernizing its agriculture, revising its government structures, and better defining the support to farmers – a pursuit that is still ongoing in Tajikistan,” said FAO policy officer Dmitry Zvyagintsev. “We are about halfway through with the project, and the feedback so far has been positive.”

The EUR 5 million project is financed by the European Union’s Rural Development Programme 1.

Tajikistan stands to benefit from the multifaceted project on several levels. By the end of the four-year period, the Ministry of Agriculture looks to become more proficient and competent in strategic planning and analysis, programme formulation, and donor coordination.

Furthermore, FAO has contributed to strategic documents in Tajikistan that are currently in development, such as the Food Security Programme for the period up to 2020 and an action plan to increase investments in the agribusiness sector.

Tajikistan’s Statistics Agency is getting support through the project in finalizing its analysis of 2013 agriculture census data and in using that data to improve its food balance sheet methodology. More comprehensive and reliable agricultural data should aid the ministry’s analysis of policy implications.

The project pays special attention to veterinary institutions, too. In summer 2017, courses and workshops were organized for selected staff of the State Veterinary Inspection Service to present, discuss, and agree on new strategies for controlling priority diseases in the country.

20 March 2018, Tbilisi, Georgia