Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Tajikistan Office jointly with the Aga-Khan Foundation in Tajikistan (AKF) distributed quality agriculture inputs to the farmers in Khatlon region in the frame of Pilot Project for Agribusiness Development in Tajikistan, funded by JICA and implemented by AKF Tajikistan.

The handover ceremony of the agro-inputs took place in Khuroson district with the participation of high-ranking officials from Khatlon regional Government, Ministry of Agriculture of Tajikistan, the Ambassador of Japan to Tajikistan, Chief Representative of JICA Tajikistan Office, and Diplomatic Representative of the Aga-Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Tajikistan, according to JICA Tajikistan Office.

The project reportedly aims to intensify agriculture production and improve agriculture output by providing farmers sustainable access to quality agricultural inputs such as wheat, maize and potato seeds, fertilizers, as well as through construction of storage facilities.

The implementation of new approaches such as establishment of Agriculture Input Revolving Funds will be extensively supported by capacity building activities designed to strengthen the management of seed banks, advance the yields, promote the market-oriented agriculture and improve the livelihood of target population.  

Mr. Muneo Takasaka, Chief Representative of JICA Tajikistan Office expressed his gratitude to the Government of Tajikistan and AKF for their collaboration and emphasized the importance of agriculture sector in the economy of Tajikistan.  According to Mr. Takasaka “the project’s objective is to strengthen seed-revolving funds, which allows farmers to have access to high quality seeds, advanced agro-consulting services thorough the establishment of Agriculture Input Revolving Funds and construction of storages in all target districts.”

“Implementation of the project is very important especially during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, as it allows the farmers to have access to high quality agro-inputs as well as modern technical knowledge. In this project we are not only providing seeds and fertilizer but also transferring technical knowledge” stated Mr. Takayuki Miyashita – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Tajikistan.

“The project will cover Khuroson, Qubodiyon and Shahritous districts in Khatlon province to further enhance the wheat seed production system in the country. The project will also help to improve livelihood and strengthen food security among vulnerable households of target districts,” said Amonullo Salimzoda, First Deputy Governor of Khatlon Province.

Mr. Qozidavlat Qoimdodov, Diplomatic Representative of the Aga-Khan Development Network in Tajikistan, expressed his sincere appreciation to the Government of Tajikistan for supporting the project and highlighted the cooperation of the Government of Tajikistan with two development partners as the unique experience of the project.

It should be noted that, the Pilot Project for Agribusiness Development in Tajikistan is in the frame of JICA’s initiatives on introducing the Smallholder Horticulture Empowerment and Promotion (SHEP) approach, which aims to build the capacity of farmers to increase income and improve the access to markets for their produce.

JICA began its technical cooperation with Tajikistan in 1993 by inviting Tajik officials to gain knowledge and experience on governance and macroeconomics development.  As of March 2020, a total number of participants to JICA’s Knowledge Co-Creation Programs, formerly called the Training Programs, has exceeded 2380 people.  JICA Office was established in Tajikistan in 2006 and since then various Grant Financial Assistance and Technical Cooperation projects have been implemented more dynamically, aiming at improving living standard of Tajik people for the sectors such as agriculture and rural development, water supply, health, transport, energy, capacity building as well as SME promotion.  JICA’s cumulative investment portfolio in Tajikistan in all sectors comprises 44 projects amounting to more than 418.5 million USD (94.66 million USD for Technical Cooperation and 324 million USD for Grant Assistance), including 14 ongoing projects.