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FAO Invest $638,000 in Tajikistan’s Agriculture

Saturday 7 March 2015

(Avesta News Agency) – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN is set to invest $638,000 in Tajikistan’s agriculture sector. Tajikistan is a highly agrarian country, with its rural population (more than 70%) where agriculture accounts for 48% of national employment.

FAO in Tajikistan and Tajik agriculture ministry and the State Enterprise ‘Project Management UnitLivestock and Pasture Development’ signed on March 4 an agreement toward the implementation of a new project on farm technology validation and demonstration under Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project.

Under a deal between FAO and the Tajik government, the International Fund for Agricultural Development will finance FAO Tajikistan to implement the Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project.

The total cost of the provision of the services stands at $638,227, Avesta news agency reported.

“This project will help 1,500 household farms to increase their profitability through improved agricultural (including livestock) technologies and inputs”, said Viorel Gutu, FAO representative in Tajikistan.

He also added that the proposed implementation arrangements involve state and local government agencies in project coordination and in providing support services at the national, district and jamoat levels.

The project will work in 30 villages in Muminobod and Shuroobod districts and closely cooperate with the Village Organizations formed by Khatlon Livelihoods Support Project. It is expected that the farmers, farmers’ communities and rural households as well as implementing partners will directly benefit from knowledge management, field days, exchange visits, season-long trainings, training modules and materials, as well as information materials on agriculture.

The project will also organize an international study tour and visits to advanced farms and research institutes for selected agricultural specialists and farmers from the project districts.

It will introduce conservation agriculture, improved pasture and grassland management practices in farming communities, promotion of diversified cropping systems and seed production, and suitable fodder crops for pasture improvement. Some 28 local veterinarians will be trained in animal health and production, and will be provided with transport facilities.

Agriculture accounts for 23% of GDP and 48% of employment in Tajikistan, so it plays a major role in economic growth and poverty reduction.

Cotton and wheat are the two main cash crops in Tajikistan, cultivated on nearly 70% of the cropped area. Beef, mutton, and poultry are the most important meat products; cow’s milk, goat’s, cheese, and wool are also important. Silk production exists, but remains a comparatively minor industry.

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