Agrarian sector has major influence on economic performance in Tajikistan

10/06/2016 15:20
Asia-Plus
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DUSHANBE, June 10, 2016, Asia-Plus -- The World Bank-Tajikistan Partnership Program Snapshot (April 2016) notes that with 20 percent of GDP and 53 percent of employment, the agriculture sector has a major influence on economic performance.

Most of the agricultural produce (93.3 percent) is grown on household plots and private (dehkan) farms, which have proved to be more efficient than large collective farms.  To minimize production and marketing risks, farmers grow comparatively small areas of several different crops that are selected from a relatively narrow crop range.  The country is prone to various exogenous shocks such as food price spikes that contribute to increased household food insecurity.  Measures to reduce the constraints to agricultural growth as well as the sector’s vulnerability to adverse events can thus have a high impact on economic growth and poverty reduction.

Reforms in the agriculture sector are making a difference. In 2007, a comprehensive reform program known as the “Road Map” was launched by the Government and donors. It focused on resolution of the cotton debt crisis, accelerated land reform, freedom to farm, improved access to rural finance, and the increased diversification of agriculture.  Results from the Rural Investment Climate Assessment survey show that freedom to farm is now a reality for most farmers.

Less than 1 percent of crop producers report that they are forced to sell to designated buyers by either local government or creditors. Successive amendments to the Land Code have strengthened land use rights such that they are now lifelong, inheritable, exchangeable, and tradable.  Amendments have been made to the Mortgage Law and the Law on Dehkan Farms to improve protection for land users in the event that they default on a loan for which their land is being used as collateral. Further refinement of these laws is required.

The establishment of a Unified Registration System and a modern cadaster are still in their early stages, and work on the public and private institutions for a land market and land valuation system has yet to begin.

The World Bank supports the agriculture sector in Tajikistan through ongoing policy advice and investment lending for the implementation and deepening of agriculture reforms.  The goals are to: reduce food insecurity; rehabilitate irrigation systems and support effective water management; improve access to agricultural financial services; develop agriculture support services; support land tenure and sustainable land management; set up a land registration and cadaster system to support ongoing land reform; provide institutional development and capacity building for sector ministries; and support the continued policy and reform process.

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