In a statement released on March 5, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Tajikistan notes that rumors about reduction in procurement of food products, especially wheat flour, are absolutely unfounded.

“The issue of providing consumer markets with basic food products and ensuring stability of prices is under constant control of the government, and relevant ministries and agencies regularly take adequate measures in this direction,” reads the statement. 

The ministry notes that all domestic markets are provided with basic food products such as wheat flour, vegetable oil, meat ad meat products, sugar, vegetables and others more than enough. 

According to the statement, Tajikistan last year produced 1.4 million tons of cereals, including 836,200 tons of wheat.  Besides, Tajikistan imported 1.1 million tons of wheat in 2019.

In 2019, Tajikistan reportedly produced approximately 1.5 million tons of wheat flour, which was 132,000 tons more than in 2018.  

Last year, Tajikistan produced 168,300 tons of meat and meat products, which was 11,000 tons more than in 2018, the statement says.  

The ministry, in particular, notes that the share of food products in China’s exports to Tajikistan last year amounted to only 0.3 percent. 

CIS member nationals provide the bulk of Tajikistan’s food imports, including wheat and wheat flour, according to the statement.  

The ministry says there are sufficient reserves and necessary production capacity to meet requirements of domestic consumer market.   

Recall, many staple items such as flour, oil and sugar are reportedly in short supply or totally sold-out at bazaars and stores in Dushanbe, as people stock up.  A 50-kilogram sack of flour used to cost around 220 somoni was selling in the Tajik capital this week for 380 somoni.

A resident of the southern city of Kulob told Eurasianet that riot police were on guard at the bazaar there and stopping shoppers from buying more than two sacks of flour at a time.