Developing capacity for strengthening food security and nutrition

Tajikistan officials in Moldova to study remittances programme

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova – A delegation of government officials from the Republic of Tajikistan are in the Republic of Moldova this week, learning about a successful programme for attracting foreign remittances to investments that help develop the economy. Tajikistan plans to implement a similar programme in the near future, with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The visitors are from Tajikistan’s Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Finance. The main goal of their study tour is to learn about Moldova’s successful national Programme for Attracting Remittances into the Economy – known as PARE 1+1 – which has been successfully implemented by the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises Sector Development of Moldova since 2011.

The PARE 1+1 programme helps direct Moldova’s sizeable remittance inflows towards the creation and expansion of micro, small and medium enterprises. These enterprises in turn act as engines of sustainable growth and macroeconomic stability.

From 2011 to 2017, approximately 1 100 business projects were financed with remittances amounting to about Euro 10 million. This attracted a further Euro 34 million in investments in the economy and led to the creation of nearly 3 000 jobs. A significant portion of investments went to the agrifood sector.

With support from FAO, the Government of Tajikistan plans to implement a similar model, entitled, “Promoting inclusive economic growth through Matching Grants.” The aim is to help attract the remittances of migrant workers to investment in agriculture and agribusiness. Beneficiaries will receive matching grants for small-scale projects, including training and education.

Agriculture in Tajikistan is a key sector for both economic and social development. In the third quarter of 2017, individual cross-border cash transfers from Russian Federation to Tajikistan amounted to USD 1 663 billion – some USD 231 million more than in the same period the previous year.

“I am honoured that the experience and success of the PARE Program in Moldova stirred interest of other countries in the Europe and Central Asia region,” said Iulia Costin, State Secretary of Moldova’s Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure. “We were happy to share our experience with the delegation from Tajikistan. I look forward to continue an exchange of knowledge between countries in the region, on the shared aim of achieving sustainable livelihoods.”

“Migration and remittances play a very important part in the development processes in the Europe and Central Asia region,” said Marco Sanchez Cantillo, deputy director of FAO’s Agricultural Development Economics Division. “Moldova sets a very good example for other countries in the region, where FAO supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“We believe that the knowledge and experience gained as a result of this study tour will have a strong impact on leveraging the remittances of migrant workers, and ultimately will help to improve food security and nutrition in Tajikistan,” said FAO senior project coordinator Mauricio Rosales.

This week’s study tour was arranged under the FAO project, “Developing Capacity for Strengthening Food Security and Nutrition in Selected Countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.” Funded by the Russian Federation, the project emphasizes the connections between agriculture, nutrition and social protection in national food systems.