Farms in Tajikistan Being Abandoned Due to Lack of Money

@ASIA-Plus

Farmers in Tajikistan are being forced to abandon their farms, explaining that there is no way to earn a living from them.

One farmer in the Sino Dekhkan farm in the Vosei district said he was forced to stop operating because of financial problems.

“I used to take a loan from Amonatbank to run my business. But they don’t give loans anymore. They say you are already old; you will die, and who will pay you back? The land has been standing for two years. It’s a cotton field. I haven’t found a single somoni for sowing,” the man said.

Another problem, farmers say, is the shortage of irrigation water, and the situation only worsens yearly.

“I have not been on my land for three years. Because there is no water in the canal. The Nazar State Farm, in Kukhnashahr, takes all the water, and we don’t have a drop left,” complained a resident of Kamolobod village in Kulyab.

Farmers in Sughd region, adjacent to Dushanbe, face the same problem. Some farmers complain that the authorities force them to plant crops to their detriment. As a result, they say, they not only do not make a profit but also remain at a disadvantage.

Economist Foziljon Fatkhulloyev said the agriculture industry will only develop once farmers are given more benefits and preferences. “They give benefits, for example, for six months, but do not consider that farmers’ profits do not cover their expenses. If they provide more benefits, the prices of agricultural products on the market would be reduced by 5-10 percent. They should at least give agrarians tax breaks,” he suggested.

About 70% of Tajikistan’s population lives in rural areas, and developing the agricultural sector will help solve many of its residents’ socio-economic problems. Agriculture and labor migration are a source of income for many families.

Data is needed on how many farms were forced to close last year, and how many farmers still need to yield products. Representatives of Tajikistan’s Ministry of Agriculture do not comment on the situation. At press conferences, the ministry’s leadership reports on the development of agriculture and the success of farms.