Tajikistan’s Agriculture Sector to Benefit from World Bank Support
WASHINGTON: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved $58 million in grant financing from the International Development Association (IDA) for the Strengthening Resilience of the Agriculture Sector Project in Tajikistan. The project will contribute towards a more resilient and sustainable agricultural sector, which is the mainstay of Tajikistan’s economy and livelihoods.
“Planting the seeds for a sustainable, more productive, climate-resilient, and inclusive agricultural sector should allow for a harvest of economic growth, food security, nutritional quality, rural employment, and steadier incomes,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to continue modernizing the sector to ensure that farmers and everyone else working in rural economies continue earning income, root causes of seasonal poverty are addressed, and families can rely on access to affordable, nutritious food.”
The project seeks to strengthen the foundation for a more resilient agriculture sector, which will in turn help to accelerate agricultural diversification, contribute to the development of a viable sector of private micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas, and generate additional employment opportunities.
The project will support the development of viable seed, seedling, and planting material systems to ensure the availability, in sufficient quantity and quality, of locally adapted and climate resilient varieties of these inputs for priority crops. Investments in inputs technology are important for improving production and productivity, contributing to food security and nutrition and enhancing efficient use of other inputs, including water, fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides.
The project will further engage with research institutions associated with the Tajikistan Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Tajik Agrarian University to strengthen longer-term capacities in research and development of technologies, with solutions for climate adaptation and sector development.
In addition, interventions are foreseen to support investments in agri-logistical centers for horticulture value chains to improve sectoral competitiveness and farmers’ access to markets, promote agricultural diversification, quality, and food safety standards and reduce food loss and waste. Availability of such centers is expected to attract more private investments in horticulture, including fruit orchards, which can contribute to climate mitigation and job creation.
In parallel, the project will provide support to efforts to strengthen the capacity of select public institutions for crisis prevention and management. The priority areas for capacity-building include real-time monitoring of agricultural production and agrometeorology, soil testing for improved soil fertility management, and crop protection and locust control.
The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tajikistan over the next five years.
Over the past year, to address the impacts of the pandemic, the Government of Tajikistan has developed a set of strategic documents on agriculture sector development and food and nutrition security in Tajikistan, with the goal of strengthening resilience, inclusiveness, and sustainability of the sector, while calling for investments in knowledge and innovation, the delivery of agricultural services, logistical infrastructure, and integrated seed sector development. The project will support the implementation of these strategic priorities.
Currently, the World Bank is financing 21 projects in Tajikistan totaling $1.1 billion. Since 1996, the World Bank has provided over $2 billion in IDA grants, highly concessional credits, and trust funds for Tajikistan. The World Bank Group is committed to continuing its support for Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population.