FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

New efforts begin to build resiliency in Tajikistan’s agriculture

A new project by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with Republic of Tajikistan’s state institution Agricultural Entrepreneurship Development Project Management Unit, will provide technical assistance to the country to strengthen resilience of the agriculture sector. The project is funded by the World Bank. 

The objectives of the project are to increase the resiliency of the agricultural sector and to enable it to transition to a more sustainable, more productive, climate-resilient, and inclusive model. The successful realization of the project’s aim to transform agrifood systems is built on a partnership between FAO and the Tajik Government.

“This partnership is a new modality in which a United Nations technical organization provides support in the context of larger investments by applying the extensive experience that FAO has developed in the country and around the world," said Oleg Guchgeldiyev, FAO Representative in Tajikistan. "This is a good example of how we can make more sustainable, efficient and systematic efforts towards a resilient agricultural sector in Tajikistan." 

Under the project, FAO will concentrate on important areas of technical assistance, including enhancing public agricultural services by increasing the capacity of the country’s seed system through improved access to seeds and seedlings. The project will support soil testing, locust control and crop protection, agri-logistic services, and agrometeorological information. By facilitating inputs from academia into essential areas of agricultural management such as soil and pest management it will assist the government in establishing a new system of phytosanitary services based on best international practices. FAO will work extensively on improved data flow of production information as well as on drought and other potential threats. 

The project complements other World Bank and donor-financed agricultural initiatives to leverage its impact on higher-level objectives such as agricultural growth, food and nutrition security, job creation, and poverty reduction.

Better seed production systems

Earlier this year the FAO project “Developing a potato seed production system in Tajikistan” concluded. The results show significant improvement: potato yields increased, and production methods became more sustainable in the seed production system in the country. The project created synergies between cooperatives and the informal producer groups and women producer groups, and increased the capacity of the seed production sector.

The project gave smallholder farmers access to critical agricultural inputs, such as potato seeds, and increased the resiliency  and sustainability of seed systems through establishing sustainable production. It also contributed to supporting post-disaster recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and improved livelihoods through increased yields and better production practices.

As a result, 85 tonnes of potato seeds and 23 tonnes of first reproduction seeds of high-quality varieties were procured and distributed in six districts. Local experts and 385 farmers benefited from training activities on seed potato production and storage. Moreover, demonstration plots were established, and previously stored seed potatoes were distributed in the three pilot districts.

“The quality seeds and the improved knowledge made a change: potato yields increased significantly,” said Tania Santivanez, FAO agricultural officer. “For instance, in Nurabad, 74 tonnes of seed were collected compared to the initially distributed 37 tonnes.”

Overall, the harvested potato seeds increased by ten times, and 234 tonnes of seeds were stored for the next planting season giving hope for a long lasting impact of the effort.

The project was implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency.

14 November 2022, Dushanbe, Tajikistan