DUSHANBE (TCA) — Preparatory work has begun for a proposed project to improve food security in Tajikistan by boosting dairy production while making the industry more resilient to climate change, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) country office in Tajikistan said.
A $500,000 technical assistance grant by the Asian Development Bank will prepare a feasibility study of the proposed investment project.
“The Tajik economy has a strong link with agriculture that contributed approximately 30% to the gross domestic product and over 65% to employment generation in 2014,” said Samjhana Shrestha, Senior Economist at ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “The dairy industry is currently underdeveloped mainly due to limited investments and access to credit, inadequate business knowledge and skills, and underdeveloped market connectivity.”
The proposed project is expected to help increase milk and dairy production, diversify dairy products, and improve access to markets. It also aims to improve management of pasturelands and increase rural and urban employment opportunities. It will seek to reduce land degradation resulting from excessive grazing pressure by cultivating high yield fodder that is more resilient to climate change and rotational grazing schemes.
Public-private partnership schemes will be promoted under the proposed project, which is expected to be submitted to the ADB’s Board of Directors for approval in late 2017.
Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, and, to date, ADB has approved over $1.5 billion in concessional loans, grants, and technical assistance to the country. ADB’s country partnership strategy with Tajikistan focuses on improved infrastructure, investment climate reforms, and improved food security.