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International Investment Forum on Agribusiness Opens in Dushanbe

Monday 1 October 2012

DUSHANBE (Avesta News Agency) – The Third International Agribusiness Investment Forum has opened in Dushanbe today. Organized by the EBRD Tajik Agricultural Finance Framework (TAFF) project – financed by the EU and implemented by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management – with the joint support of the EU Delegation to Tajikistan and KfW on behalf of the German Government and the State Committee for Investments and State-owned Property Management of Tajikistan, this year’s Forum entitled “Financing the Modernization of Tajik Agricultural Value-Chains” aims to keep on connecting better Tajikistan with key foreign stakeholders in agribusiness to enhance Tajik competitiveness.

Press release issued by the European Union (EU) Delegation says a particular emphasis is put on the financing of the modernization process of agricultural value-chains in Tajikistan. The Forum provides the participants with the opportunity to benefit from information about new forms of agribusiness finance that are globally emerging.

This two-day event has reportedly brought together more than 300 representatives of international companies and speakers from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the UK as well as Uzbekistan.

As was the case in 2010 and in 2011, the Forum is combining general presentations on the evolution and prospects of Tajik business with workshops on specific topics and sub-sectors as well as field visits related to these sub-sectors.

In addition there is also be an exhibition of the products and services of the participants, whether Tajik or foreign, at the Forum venue. The Forum is taking place at the Hyatt hotel in Dushanbe.

Tajik Agricultural Finance Framework

The Tajik Agricultural Finance Framework (TAFF) was set up by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in 2007 to support the restructuring and diversification of the agricultural sector including the cotton subsector. The Framework’s main objective is to provide alternative finance to small and medium-sized farms and support the freedom to farm concept whilst fostering best farming practices.

TAFF builds on the Tajik Micro and Small Enterprise Finance Framework through which the EBRD has provided credit lines since late 2003. TAFF financing of up to US $35 million through participating local financial intermediaries provides small farmers in Tajikistan with alternative sources of credit for the purchase of farming supplies. The project is accompanied by technical cooperation funds to cover costs of training for participating financial institutions and agricultural advisers. These funds are provided by the EBRD ETC multi donor fund and the US/EBRD SME Financing Facility.

Since 2007 Frankfurt School of Finance & Management (FS) has been assisting Partner Institutions (PI) in setting up agricultural lending procedures, implementing risk assessment methodologies that focus on the client’s cash flow and designing agricultural loan products. The major innovation in terms of lending methodology has been the combination of an agro-credit scoring component with a more traditional financial analysis of a client. Currently, TAFF is cooperating with Agroinvestbank (AIB), Amonatbank (AB), Bank Eskhata (BE) and Tojiksodirotbonk (TSOB). Also microfinance organisations OXUS, micro lending foundation HUMO and Partners and microcredit deposit-taking organisation Arvand and microlending organisation IMON INTERNATIONAL have joined TAFF. More partner institutions may be involved under TAFF in the course of the project.

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