DUSHANBE (TCA) — On May 6 the USAID Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project hosted a conference to discuss implementation of a newly established law regarding dehkan (small farmer) farms in Tajikistan, the U.S. Embassy in Dushanbe said on May 12.
Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon signed the new law on dehkan farms on March 15, 2016. The new law recognizes dekhan farms as legal entities, and clarifies and strengthens land use rights for collective dekhan farm shareholders. The law improves the management of dekhan farms and defines the rights and responsibilities of shareholders. The law also permits farmers to legally construct field camps on land, which allows for greater productivity during the peak farming seasons. The changes will lead to increased productivity in the agricultural sector because farmers have greater land security and are more inclined to improve their land through irrigation infrastructure, permanent crops, orchards, and greenhouses.
The U.S. government, through the USAID Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project, provided technical support to the Intergovernmental Working Group on Land Management to promote the law on dehkan farms. The project also conducted numerous field visits to farmers across multiple regions of Tajikistan to ensure their concerns and needs were incorporated into the new law. The USAID Land Reform and Farm Restructuring Project also created a reference brochure intended for lawyers and government officials to explain the law and how it can be applied.
Since 2005, The U.S. government, through USAID, has been an ardent supporter of land reform, assisting the Government of Tajikistan in strengthening land-related laws and policies to help Tajik farmers become as productive as possible. The Government of Tajikistan recognizes agriculture as the backbone of the economy, providing employment to the majority of the rural population, and as a vital source of food and income for rural households. The passage of the law on dekhan farms is another successful step towards stronger and more equitable land rights in Tajikistan.